This year’s Top Green Providers is significantly larger than 2012’s list, which is an indication of just how important sustainability has become to supply chains today. Each of the companies profiled submitted a comprehensive application detailing their own operations as well as the products and services they offer to customers. Many went the extra step and included a case study to help give us a better picture of their contributions. We’ve included food producers and manufacturers, 3PLs and transportation and logistics providers, equipment manufacturers, software and technology companies and others who are driving sustainability from farm to fork.
AFS Technologies (www.afsi.com)
The food/bev and CPG retail industries are the focus of AFS Technologies, whose data synchronization solutions are designed to eliminate paper-based transactions. In addition, the company’s Warehouse Management System solution boosts clients’ transportation efficiencies with few truck movements and optimized fuel utilization, along with more efficient and leaner operations within the warehouse.
ArrowStream’s Crossbow solution provides collaboration between food/bev companies’ Purchasing and Logistics, making it possible to proactively plan the optimal product flow into distribution facilities, increasing truck utilization, and dramatically reducing the miles driven. On average, companies have achieved a 10 percent reduction in miles driven with the implementation of Crossbow.
Associated Grocers of New England (www.agne.com)
AGNE makes this year’s list with an impressive LED lighting project that will save the company over $221,000 in energy costs and approximately 1.4 million kWh in energy consumption annually—reducing the carbon footprint by 2.16 million pounds as year as well. Overall, AGNE will reduce energy consumption at its Pembroke, NH facility by 85 percent.
Avalon International LLC (www.avalonbreads.net)
This Detroit-based company provides the “daily dough” for over 1,000 retail customers and 40+ restaurants and markets in nearby cities. Avalon’s commitment to the “Triple Bottom Line: Earth, Community, Employees,” interprets sustainability broadly, from 100 percent organic flour in all of its products, to community engagement, to providing employees with fair wages and good benefits. It’s worth noting that Avalon has become the biggest organic bread flour purchaser in Michigan.
Consider this: 96 percent of all supermarket lettuce in the U.S. and Puerto Rico comes from two places—Yuma, Arizona and Salinas, California. It’s not surprise then that shrink rates for conventional produce can be roughly 25 percent, in part because long distance supply chains for fresh produce. BrightFarms’ mission is both simple and highly sustainable. The company finances, designs, builds and operates greenhouse farms at or near supermarkets, which not only reduces or eliminates transportation, but results in fresher, tastier produce.
Butterball LLC (www.butterballcorp.com)
Starting in 2012, Butterball’s use of lighter weight tractors and trailers allowed the company to increase shipment payloads, resulting in 52 fewer loads per year, 13,884 fewer miles driven, and 2,777 less gallons of fuel burned annually. That’s not all. Butterball is now using its boiler flue gas to cut down on natural gas usage, while new packaging designs are reducing material use by half. Last year, the company reduced its carbon footprint by 3 percent even though volume increased by over 3 percent.
C.R. England (www.crengland.com)
As the world’s largest refrigerated trucking company, C.R. England is clearly incentivized to pioneer sustainable transportation solutions. On the trucking side, the company is pursuing both CNG and LNG solutions, while its TempStack rail service double-stacks 53-foot reefers on a flatcar, which offers substantial savings and a reduced carbon footprint to perishable cargo shippers.
Cadec Global (www.cadec.com)
Foodservice is a primary customer vertical for Cadec, which is laser-focused on fleet management solutions that reduce fuel costs and improve sustainability. On-board computers automatically collect data that’s used to monitor and improve driver and truck performance, all the while eliminating paper and paperwork processing. The company’s TempTracker application provides wireless temperature tracking for up to three separate trailer units.
CAPS (Container and Pooling Solutions) has a long history of working with companies in the food and beverage space to reduce supply chain waste by implementing reusable containers. The benefits are not only realized by individual companies who see reduced material and packing costs, but the larger social and environmental impacts of using less natural resources and energy is commendable.
Cat Lift Trucks (www.mcfa.com)
Cat’s electric lift trucks are well suited for food warehouse and distribution environments, which dominate the grocery industry, because toxic emissions like carbon monoxide are eliminated while other fumes and odors are reduced significantly. Furthermore, AC electric lift trucks are typically one quarter of the cost to operate compared to internal combustion (IC) forklifts. MCFA converted its own IC forklift fleet to electric in 2011 as part of its corporate sustainability initiatives.
CHEP is aggressively pursuing ‘green goals’ with several five year targets. Specifically, the company aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from a 2010 baseline, source 100 percent of lumber for CHEP wooden pallets from certified sources by 2015, send zero lumber waste to landfill by 2015, and have year-over-year reductions in water consumption and general waste generation. CHEP USA has also joined the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX), a not for profit membership organization dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains.
Clean Energy Fuels (www.cleanenergyfuels.com)
Trucking fleets across the country are discovering the benefits of natural gas fuel, states Clean Energy Fuels. As North America’s largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation, the company, the company consults with various industries, including food/bev, as they continue to strategically build the nation’s natural gas highway with CNG and LNG fueling stations. Clean Energy Fuels also tracks every gallon dispensed to its 2,000+ fleet customers to measure its sustainability progress.
Columbian Logistics Network (www.columbianlogistics.com)
Columbian Logistics maintains over one million square feet of ambient food grade and temp-controlled warehousing in nine locations throughout Michigan and is a certified EPA Smart- Way partner. Its dedication to sustainability includes reducing waste, emissions and energy usage in a variety of ways, including motion detection lighting and using white paint on warehouse roofs to reduce heat transfer.
Coyote Logistics (www.coyote.com)
Empty backhauls are a huge area of waste in the transportation world. Coyote’s award winning Private Fleet collaboration tool eliminated over 7.5 million empty miles from U.S. highways highways last year and reduced 13,000 tons of carbon emissions. Coyote’s Green Calculator measures and verifies the savings, while shippers and carriers have access to analytics reporting that allow them to view all of their data.
Crown Equipment Corporation (www.crown.com)
Sustainability is a market differentiator for Crown, starting from conceptual stage of design through the product’s end of life, which in turn boosts their customers’ overall savings in equipment costs and energy use, while simultaneously reducing waste and streamlining operations. Crown has won more Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) in the past 11 years than any other company. Its Ecologic Report is available for download at Crown.com.