Metersky says that companies need to be able understand their own infrastructure as well as what they can and cannot control. For some companies, that may mean more distribution centers or replenishing a warehouse more frequently, or changing transportation modes. In IPC’s case, it involved moving a number of facilities around. “We’re very aware of the placement of the facilities of our redistributors, distributors and suppliers. We have found that by properly placing those facilities to our needs, it actually drives down the cost of our supply chain,” says Berrios.
For example, one of its salad packaging suppliers moved a facility from West Virginia to Abilene, TX, to be closer to its redistribution center. This move cut the supplier’s annual transportation by more than one million miles and eliminated 1,967 metric tons of greenhouse emissions. Since IPC realigned its distribution network, it has been saving 17,000 shipments annually since 2006 and by relocating facilities, the company reduced miles by 15,104,661 in 2009.
“It’s a matter of right-sizing your supply chain—how many distributors do I need based on how many stores I have. We’re always looking to optimize the load build and make sure our product is traveling in full truckloads whenever possible,” says Berrios. “We also have to evaluate where the product was moving and in the right mode. Many of our loads that were carrier driven wound up being split between carrier and rail.”
To establish a baseline for a carbon footprint, Metersky says the vast majority of the information comes from shipment transaction histories. “We take a look at all of the physical movements you made in your supply chain, so that takes care of the transportation-related carbon footprinting. Then we look at activities in terms of what’s happening inside the manufacturing operations, so we’re looking at the production history and the warehousing aspects.”
Depending upon the size of your network, Metersky says the carbon footprinting process can run anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. “The biggest lead time is the client pulling the production history,” he says. “As a stand alone project, it can take a week or two to get the carbon footprint once we have the data.”
Reducing Energy Consumption
Many food companies are reducing their carbon footprints in various areas of their supply chains. For example, Tropicana, the Chicago-based division of PepsiCo, reports that it is reducing particulate matter emissions by an estimated 16 tons per year and nitrogen oxide emissions by 373 tons per year, by upgrading its chilled delivery fleet operation to “greener “ models and replacing older trucks.
This past April, Tropicana placed two hybrid diesel-electric medium-duty trucks on the road under a lease through PACCAR Leasing (PacLease), Bellevue, WA. The hybrids, which service downtown Chicago, allow Tropicana to eliminate emissions and fuel consumption associated with the refrigeration engine through the use of a hybrid refrigeration system. The system draws power from the truck’s powertrain and stores it. Using that stored energy, it maintains ambient temperature in the cargo area within set specifications throughout the delivery route.
Tropicana’s direct store delivery unit operates trucks at 22 locations, including Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle. Over the next few years, the PepsiCo unit will continue to replace its older trucks with the more fuel-efficient, environmentally preferable trucks.
The acquisition of the hybrid trucks comes on the heels of the company’s move to replace 72 older delivery trucks with Peterbilt medium-duty models also placed into service under a full-service lease through PacLease.
“With the new hybrids, we’re very optimistic about getting an additional 35 percent improvement in fuel economy over that of our standard diesel-powered Peterbilts,” says Bill Davis, national fleet manager for Tropicana. “Based on numbers we’ve gotten from Peterbilt and PacLease and on the experience of other companies that have adopted similarly equipped hybrid trucks, we expect to get 10-plus mile per gallon. That has a lot of potential for Tropicana and PepsiCo.”
Kemps LLC (formerly Marigold Foods) turned to U.S. Energy Services in 2001 to help reduce energy costs. Kemps is a manufacturer of milk, ice cream and other dairy products, headquartered in St. Paul, MN, and Minneapolis-based U.S. Energy Services offers energy management services.