Environmental sustainability is a responsibility for interacting with our natural environment to maintain natural resources and ensuring those resources are available to future generations. In today’s world of transportation and logistics, some of the most trending innovations are in sustainability.
As fleets begin to explore more efficient trucks, adhere to new government guidelines, and new fuel source alternatives such as battery, electric and hydrogen, Covenant is balancing the need to remain competitive and what many call “fair and responsible logistics.” In finding this balance, we carefully factor in our customer's evolving requirements for more sustainable solutions, maintain our company profitability, and our desire to minimize our impact on the environment.
Covenant has rolled out many recycling initiatives. Through a partnership with a battery recycler and a close alliance with the original equipment manufacturer, we reclaim up to 97% of the lead-acid found in spent batteries and re-use. We safely recycle tires that have reached their end of life so they’re used safely on playgrounds, road projects, curbing, speed bumps, and back-fill for retaining walls. In addition, we have invested in cleaning and collection processes that allow most discarded parts involving brake drums, engine parts, and other metal products to be safely reused at a local metal recycling center.
Covenant was an early adopter of the EPA’s Smartway Certification Program to measure, benchmark, and improve freight transportation efficiencies. Every year since the program’s debut in 2006, Covenant has consistently maintained full Smartway certification. In addition, we regularly upgrade the entire fleet with the average truck age of 2.5 years, compared to the 5.5-year industry average. Our commitment to a modern fleet not only keeps our professional drivers in the latest technology but also ensures we maintain the latest emission-reduction technologies.
In addition, our Maintenance Team constantly reviews new fuel-saving solutions from both OEM and aftermarket vendors to utilize the latest innovations in tractor/trailer aerodynamics, adaptive cruise control, and aerodynamic height control.
In 2019, Covenant continued to expand its use of bio-diesel fuel, where 64% foal l fuel was between 2% and 20% bio-diesel blend (26% of all purchased fuel was at least 20% bio-fuel).
With new workflow automation tools, automating repetitive tasks, and eliminating countless paper trails, our offices are taking steps toward becoming paperless. Our fleet, real estate, and even recent use of technology solutions are other areas where we’ve realized significant waste reduction.
Covenant recently invested in sophisticated route-planning software to help fleet managers more efficiently manage more complex routes. This enabled us to meet several sustainability initiatives as these route optimizations reduced equipment use.
Covenant also utilizes fully integrated powertrains utilizing new management software that uses the truck’s kinetic energy to make hundreds of adjustments per minute that increase fuel economy.