Penske Helps Customers Hit Sustainability Targets


By Jon LeSage, Edi­tor, Green Auto Mar­ket

Penske led a pan­el dis­cus­sion at this month’s ACT Expo 2014 on the U.S. Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency’s (EPA) Smart­Way Trans­port Part­ner­ship. Drew Cullen, Penske vice pres­i­dent of fuels and envi­ron­men­tal affairs, mod­er­at­ed the pan­el that includ­ed EPA SmartWay’s Tra­cie Jack­son-Hall and Joe Ring­hof­fer, direc­tor glob­al sourc­ing at Penske Logis­tics.

In April, Penske Truck Leas­ing repeat­ed its win as one of 10 com­pa­nies named in the EPA Smart­Way Affil­i­ate Chal­lenge Award; Penske was also cit­ed for its strong mar­ket­ing efforts. The EPA acknowl­edged Penkse for doing an excep­tion­al job in pro­mot­ing the partnership’s freight sus­tain­abil­i­ty goals. Penske Truck Leas­ing has been assist­ing its cus­tomers in imple­ment­ing Smart­Way objec­tives includ­ing estab­lish­ing fuel econ­o­my and emis­sions bench­mark­ing; and has been edu­cat­ing cus­tomers on imple­ment­ing Smart­Way strate­gies into their own oper­a­tions. “It is in our com­pa­ny DNA to not only be good envi­ron­men­tal stew­ards our­selves, but to also aid cus­tomers in iden­ti­fy­ing, quan­ti­fy­ing and imple­ment­ing sus­tain­able trans­porta­tion solu­tions,” Cullen said.

Last Octo­ber, Penske Logis­tics was a recip­i­ent of the 2013 Smart­Way Excel­lence Award for being an indus­try leader in freight sup­ply chain per­for­mance ener­gy and effi­cien­cy. Penske earned this award in part for reduc­ing its annu­al car­bon diox­ide emis­sions by 25%, nitrous oxide emis­sions by 40%, and par­tic­u­late mat­ter emis­sions by over 50%.

Penske works with cus­tomers using the Smart­Way tools to improve envi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance and quan­ti­fy emis­sions cal­cu­la­tions. Onboard tech­nolo­gies and alter­na­tive fuels are explored to improve fuel econ­o­my and improve the fleet’s effi­cien­cy. One of the work­shop pan­elists, Chip Dorg­er, gen­er­al man­ag­er at Let­i­ca Resources, explained how inte­grat­ing the Smart­Way pro­gram has meant few­er miles trav­eled, less fuel used, and CO2 reduc­tion in total tons trans­port­ed per year. Along with C02 reduc­tions, Smart­Way tools assist fleets in reduc­ing NOx and par­tic­u­late mat­ter.

Offer­ing cus­tomers com­pressed nat­ur­al gas Freight­lin­er Cas­ca­dia semi-trac­tors has been part of Penske’s sus­tain­abil­i­ty ini­tia­tives, Cullen said. Penske Truck Rental has 85 com­pressed nat­ur­al gas (CNG) Freight­lin­er Cas­ca­dia semi-trac­tors avail­able for com­mer­cial rental use in select mar­kets. Penske works with cus­tomers to explore the envi­ron­men­tal and eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits of going with CNG-pow­ered trucks. There are chal­lenges of going with these trucks – CNG trucks have less range than diesel-pow­ered trucks and the tanks do take extra space; Penske works with cus­tomers to see when it makes sense to go with CNG. There is the poten­tial to break even or to save two-to-three cents per mile; there’s been a lot of inter­est in these alter­na­tive fuel vehi­cles by food ser­vice, linen, and dry clean­ing fleets, Cullen said.

Dur­ing ACT Expo, Penske Truck Leas­ing also announced that it has been award­ed grants total­ing $525,000 through the South Coast Air Qual­i­ty Man­age­ment District’s Mobile Source Air Pol­lu­tion Reduc­tion Review Com­mit­tee (MSRC) in Dia­mond Bar, Calif. Sev­en Penske facil­i­ties in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia have been award­ed $75,000 grants to mod­i­fy the facil­i­ties to pro­vide main­te­nance ser­vices on trucks with nat­ur­al gas-pow­ered engines. “These facil­i­ty retro­fits will enable us to bet­ter serve our truck and fleet cus­tomers in the region and sup­port their sus­tain­abil­i­ty goals now and in the future,” said Jen­nifer Sock­el, senior vice pres­i­dent of admin­is­tra­tion and facil­i­ties for Penske Truck Leas­ing.

These Cal­i­for­nia grants are assist­ing Penske in work­ing with cus­tomers on reach­ing their sus­tain­abil­i­ty goals, Sock­el said. CNG retro­fits can become expen­sive; Penske works with cus­tomers on imple­ment­ing options such as aggre­gate use and con­sol­i­dat­ing facil­i­ties, or tri­al use with a small per­cent­age of the fleet. Staff train­ing is also offered by Penske for main­te­nance of these engines, and for work­ing safe­ly on the vehi­cles. Work­ing on CNG trucks is quite dif­fer­ent than the diesel trucks they’re used to ser­vic­ing, so train­ing is need­ed by main­te­nance staff.

Penske has also received a grant from the Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion for the pur­chase of 23 CNG vehi­cles. The Nat­ur­al Gas Vehi­cle Pro­gram in Penske’s home state of Penn­syl­va­nia is help­ing to sup­port devel­op­ment of a new CNG fuel­ing infra­struc­ture, Cullen said. Penske is work­ing with cus­tomers on explor­ing options in CNG trucks and fuel­ing, such as ana­lyz­ing dynam­ic road­way routes. Penn­syl­va­nia is encour­ag­ing fleets to deploy CNG trucks in coun­ties with poor air qual­i­ty. Cus­tomers are now look­ing at when it makes sense to go with CNG, Cullen said.



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