Environmental Factors Not a Concern for Most Shippers

Earlier this year, Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent announced new regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles.  The new regulations, according to Kent, would have the equivalent effect of removing 650,000 personal vehicles from the road by 2020.

While this is certainly a laudable goal, and definitely in sync with work by carriers and transportation providers to adopt greener and more sustainable practices into their operations, a new study suggests that all this fuss about the environment may not be registering on shippers’ radar screens.

The results of the 2011 Shipper’s Pulse Survey, conducted annually by the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association (CITA) indicate that carriers’ efforts to minimize their environmental footprints are not a top concern.  The survey, which has been conducted annually since 2005, is intended as a way for CITA to gain “current thinking” of its members, so that it can better represent members’ views to government, media, and other audiences.

With regard to environmental issues the survey found that, when choosing a carrier:

  • 39.2 percent consider environmental factors that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • 37.8 percent consider environmental factors that reduce air pollutant emissions
  • 27.0 percent are aware if their carrier uses hybrids or alternative fuels; and
  • 64.9 percent consider the age of the engines in a carrier’s fleet.

The survey also found that 75 percent of respondents admitted to having “very little” or “little” knowledge about transportation greenhouse gas emissions and effects.

One bright spot of the survey, is that nearly 60 percent of shippers say they do have an environmental plan in place, indicating that shippers may be open to learning more about advances in fleet management to reduce greenhouse gases and minimize environmental damage.