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Maximizing Sustainability Reporting Using Transportation Invoice Data

esg Maximizing Sustainability Reporting Using Transportation Invoice Data

Maximizing Sustainability Reporting Using Transportation Invoice Data

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will soon vote on implementing new standards in annual reporting. The update will require public companies to disclose information on climate-related risks and emissions if adopted.

Carbon emissions are broken down into three levels – production (Scope 1), electricity used for operations (Scope 2), and all other uses (Scope 3). As a result, tracking and reporting these emissions will be challenging for many enterprises.

Scope 3 contains all transportation, logistics, and other supply chain emissions, accounting for 27 percent of the world’s total. Therefore, when companies publish their 2025 annual reports, they will have to report full emissions data from all three scopes for the entire year of 2024. That may sound like it offers some lead time, but to collect the data throughout 2024, companies need systems to track the data in 2023.

 Bottom line? If you’re not tracking and measuring carbon emissions – you’re behind. That’s why it’s imperative that supply chain leaders start now to pursue a method for monitoring and reporting emissions. Tracking emissions from Scope 1 (production) and Scope 2 (electricity used in day-to-day operations) is relatively simple because the information is reflected in internal power usage records. 

 Scope 3, however, is much more complicated because of the different variables involved – perhaps the most complicated part involves supply chain activity. The company neither controls these emissions nor has easy access to the data. Trying to gather all that data from outside vendors is a nearly impossible task.

Technology should provide some powerful assistance. Many software platforms have advanced to the point where they can help companies mine this data from their existing records, so it shouldn’t be necessary to collect it all manually. Moreover, much of the same software used to track cost efficiency and other operational details can likely be adapted to track emissions.

Many companies don’t welcome tracking their emissions, but it’s a powerful new level of intelligence in your operations. Knowing your level of emissions and the ability to analyze and distill it will represent a powerful new level of intelligence in your operations. The SEC’s new rule could be a welcome incentive for companies committed to environmental excellence. Measuring emissions means more than mere regulatory compliance; it can serve as benchmarks for improvement.

Supply chain leaders should look for carbon emissions tracking platforms that dig deep into the data to see what generates the bulk of the emissions. Then company leaders will be empowered to make focused decisions that will improve their emissions footprint. They won’t have to guess. They will know.

Demand for corporate social responsibility is already strong, and it’s growing. Companies that can show progress toward sustainability in their supply chain operations will have a competitive advantage in the broader market. Anyone can say they’re committed to sustainability. However, those who demonstrate that their efforts are measurable, defined, and scalable will have proven the case.

The transportation and logistics industry is already working hard to adopt sustainable supply chain practices. It’s a priority because it impacts the planet’s health, and markets demand it.

We know that carbon and greenhouse gas emissions have increased by an astonishing 16,300 percent in the past 170 years. And we know transportation accounts for a substantial portion of that. The industry deserves a way to demonstrate its improvement on this front. The SEC is getting ready to demand it, but good business and good stewardship of the planet already do.

Josh Bouk is the President at Trax Technologies, the global leader in Transportation Spend Management (TSM) solutions. Trax elevates traditional Freight Audit and Payment (FAP) with a combination of industry-leading cloud-based technology solutions and expert services to help enterprises with the world’s more complex supply chains better manage and control their global transportation costs and drive enterprise-wide efficiency and value. For more information, visit  


renewable energy

States That Produce the Most Renewable Energy

Since President Joe Biden and a new Congress took office earlier this year, federal policymakers have been working to speed up the U.S. transition to clean and renewable energy sources. One of Biden’s first actions in office was to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, the 2016 agreement in which countries pledged to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions. The Biden Administration followed this up with aggressive carbon reduction targets and the American Jobs Plan proposal, which includes provisions to modernize the power grid, incentivize clean energy generation, and create more jobs in the energy sector. Much of Biden’s agenda builds on prior proposals like the Green New Deal, which would achieve emissions reductions and create jobs through investments in clean energy production and energy-efficient infrastructure upgrades.


The transition to renewables has taken on greater urgency in recent years with the worsening effects of climate change. Carbon emissions from non-renewable sources like coal, oil, and natural gas are one of the primary factors contributing to the warming of the atmosphere, and climate experts project that to limit warming, renewable energy must supply 70 to 85% of electricity by midcentury.

Renewable energy still represents less than a quarter of total annual electricity generation in the U.S., but the good news is that renewable energy has been responsible for a steadily increasing share of electricity generation over the past decade. Most of the upward trajectory comes from exponential growth in the production of solar and wind power. In 1990, solar power generated only 367,087 megawatt-hours of electricity, while wind power was responsible for 2,788,600 megawatt-hours. Since then, technological improvements and public investment in wind and solar helped lower costs and make them viable competitors to non-renewable sources. By 2020, solar production had reached 89,198,715 megawatt-hours, while wind produced 337,938,049 megawatt-hours of electricity.

But this evolution is uneven across the U.S., a product of differences in states’ economies, public policy toward renewables, and perhaps most importantly, geographic features. Even among states that lead in renewable energy production, these factors contribute to different mixes of renewable sources. For instance, Texas—the nation’s top producer of renewable energy—generates most of its renewable electricity from wind turbines. Runner-up Washington and fourth-place Oregon take advantage of large rivers in the Pacific Northwest to generate more hydroelectric power than any other state. And California, which is third in total renewable production, has been a long-time leader in solar energy thanks in part to an abundance of direct sunlight.

Meanwhile, states that lag behind in renewable generation include several states without the size or geographic features to scale up production, like Delaware, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, along with states whose economies are more traditionally dependent on fossil fuels, like Mississippi and Alaska.

To determine the states producing the most renewable energy, researchers at used data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to calculate the percentage of total electricity generated from renewable sources. Renewable energy sources include wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater five-year growth in renewable electricity production, between 2015 and 2020, was ranked higher.

Here are the states that produce the most renewable energy.

Percentage of electricity generated from renewables
5-year change in renewable electricity production
Total electricity generated from renewables (MWh)
Largest renewable energy source
Vermont    1     99.9% +9.0% 2,155,177 Hydroelectric Conventional
South Dakota    2     80.5% +55.0% 11,388,457 Hydroelectric Conventional
Maine    3     76.7% -1.7% 7,674,956 Hydroelectric Conventional
Idaho    4     76.1% +15.0% 13,456,149 Hydroelectric Conventional
Washington    5     75.0% +5.6% 87,109,288 Hydroelectric Conventional
Oregon    6     67.5% +9.5% 42,928,468 Hydroelectric Conventional
Iowa    7     59.4% +85.6% 35,437,099 Wind
Montana    8     59.4% +16.8% 13,872,119 Hydroelectric Conventional
Kansas    9     44.2% +117.6% 24,117,519 Wind
California    10     42.6% +38.9% 82,239,832 Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic
Oklahoma    11     39.7% +91.9% 32,687,539 Wind
North Dakota    12     38.1% +87.0% 16,084,768 Wind
Colorado    13     30.9% +77.4% 16,724,964 Wind
Alaska    14     30.8% +8.3% 1,931,545 Hydroelectric Conventional
Nebraska    15     28.9% +115.7% 10,648,740 Wind
United States    –     19.5% +43.9% 783,003,365 Wind


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website:

electric truck

Challenges Facing the Adoption of Electric Truck Fleets

Innovations in electric truck technology present a major opportunity for business fleets. However, these electric trucks have yet to make much headway in the commercial vehicle market.

Despite several notable milestones and significant corporate investment, consumers and businesses have been slow to adopt these new EVs. A handful of challenges will likely need to be addressed before electric trucks become widely adopted.

Maintenance and High Prices May Be Discouraging EV Adoption

One of the most significant barriers to EV adoption remains cost. The heavy-duty lithium-ion batteries needed to power a truck’s drivetrain can still be extremely expensive. This drives up the cost of new electric trucks compared to similar, gas-powered vehicles.

Reliability and maintenance may also pose a barrier to adoption for some fleet owners. While electric vehicles can sometimes be more reliable than gas cars due to their electric powertrain, they can also be just as or more expensive than conventional vehicles to maintain.

Lithium-ion batteries tend to have a long lifespan, but they don’t last forever. Replacing one can be a major expense. Battery replacement costs for early EVs, like the Nissan Leaf, can be up to $5,000, which is near the resale value of the car. This is due to the price of a new battery and the labor needed to replace the old one.

While most EV maintenance is similar to conventional vehicles, simple failures can cause more serious problems due to the complexity and uniqueness of electric powertrains. Entire components found in a standard, internal combustion engine-powered truck are missing or replaced by other parts, like DC-DC converters, reducers and battery control modules.

If a business wants to keep fleet maintenance in-house, servicing electric trucks will require either hiring new technicians who are knowledgeable about electric trucks or training existing employees in EV upkeep.

The experimental nature of many modern EVs and the use of proprietary firmware may also mean adopting electric trucks would require fleet owners to develop a much closer relationship with dealers and mechanics.

As new EVs age, they may face problems that are hard for businesses to anticipate right now. The reliability of these new electric vehicles may be proven over the next few years — but, for the moment, potential maintenance woes may convince fleet owners to wait on upgrading.

Limited Charging Stations and Range Anxiety May Discourage Adoption

Like most consumer EVs, commercial electric trucks also face the charging problem. Drivers can’t rely on the existing infrastructure of gas stations and truck stops to keep them fueled. There’s a constantly expanding network of EV charging stations being built around the country. Still, outside of a few major cities, available stations may not be common enough to provide a reliable source of power.

Range anxiety — or the fear that EVs don’t store enough power to get a driver from home base to destination to a charging station — is likely a major barrier to the widespread adoption of EVs. Even in areas where charging stations are widely available, the capacity they offer may not be enough to charge EVs in a timely fashion.

For example, the 2021 Tesla Model Y has a range of up to 326 miles and takes eight to 12 hours to get a full charge from a 220-volt power station. Higher-voltage power stations are available commercially, and it’s possible to fully charge a Model Y in just an hour and a half with a Level 3 or 440-volt charger.

However, most existing EV charging stations offer just 220 volts. This means fleet owners will likely have to invest in home charging stations and carefully schedule drivers so they can always make it back to fleet headquarters for a recharge. Businesses that adopt electric trucks would be significantly limited by the density and location of existing charging stations.

While several major infrastructure projects and new subsidies will help increase the number of high-power charging stations, it will be a while before chargers are as common as gas stations.

Investment in the EV Market May Make Electric Trucks More Appealing

Major automakers seem to have committed to the growing EV market. It’s a good sign that, while adoption may be slow, some of the challenges discouraging fleet owners from buying EVs may be solved soon.

Ford has made an $11 billion investment in the EV market and is set to begin delivering the electric counterparts to its flagship truck, the Ford F-150, in early 2022. Other Ford EVs include the brand’s all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV and the 2021 electric Ford Escape. Notably, the price point for Ford’s new electric F-150 is close to the price of the ICE version of the truck. After tax credits, the base electric model may even be cheaper than the gas-powered F-150.

Ford has also argued that the cost of ownership for the electric truck will be cheaper due to lower maintenance expenses and the price of electricity versus fuel.

General Motors, owner of the Ford brand, has long been an EV pioneer. The company launched one of the first few plug-in electric hybrids on the market, the Chevrolet Volt, in 2011. Affordable, modern EVs like these may convince fleet managers interested in electric trucks but have been cautious about investing in an EV upgrade.

At the very least, the rise of new commercial and consumer electric trucks is a good sign that there will be a robust market for used EVs emerging within the next few years. If these vehicles prove to be reliable, preowned models could provide a stepping stone for fleet owners interested in an electric upgrade but cautious about committing to a fleet of all-new EVs.

What the Future of Vehicle Fleets May Look Like

As investment in the EV market increases, commercial adoption of electric trucks and similar vehicles will also grow.

Current barriers to adoption — the high price of EVs, limited charging infrastructure and concerns around maintenance — are serious but aren’t likely to last forever. Prices are falling, the charging infrastructure is improving and more EVs means more mechanics familiar with repairing these vehicles.

In the near future, fleet owners may begin moving away from conventional vehicles to electric ones, but only once these challenges become easier to manage.


Does Your Sustainability Plan Include Propane? Here Are 3 Reasons It Should.

Clean Air Month, celebrated in May, brings heightened awareness to an important issue for ports and port communities.

Ports traffic a high number of ships, vessels, barges, and boats on a daily basis and, because many are powered by dirty, high-carbon bunker fuel, air quality issues are a particular concern in and around port communities. As the momentum to reduce emissions and improve air quality continues to grow across the international port industry, many port authorities are seeking cleaner energy alternatives to use on-site.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), switching to cleaner fuel is one of the most effective strategies for emissions reduction. That means clean, low-emissions energy sources—like propane—can offer considerable environmental and economic advantages for various port applications.

1. Propane-powered equipment reduces emissions

Diesel engines are the current workhorse of the American economy, and although they can be reliable and efficient, older diesel engines can emit significant amounts of air pollution, including particulate matter, NOx, and carbon dioxide, according to the EPA. And while many port authorities think the solution to lower emissions is to electrify their equipment, they’re likely unaware that propane has a cleaner and more transparent emissions profile when lifecycle emissions are taken into consideration. This includes site-to-source emissions produced in the creation and transmission of electric forklift batteries.

Sometimes data can speak louder than words and the Propane Education & Research Council has valuable data to support the claim that this is the cleanest energy source for port operations. Most notably, using propane produces 43 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than using an equivalent amount of electricity generated from the U.S. grid, according to data from PERC. And thanks to propane’s energy versatility, crews can reduce emissions across a port with propane-powered forklifts, port and terminal tractors, light- and medium-duty vehicles, shuttles, power generation, and even small marine vessels.

For smaller material handling needs on-site, propane forklifts reduce emissions compared with their diesel and electric counterparts. Compared with electric, propane can reduce SOx emissions by 76 percent, and compared with diesel forklift engines, propane forklift engines can produce up to 97 percent fewer hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions—without any drop-off in payload or power.

Propane can bring emissions reductions to a port’s vehicle fleet, too. Terminal tractors powered by propane autogas produce 12 percent fewer lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-fueled terminal tractors, according to data from the Argonne National Laboratory. And propane autogas vehicles reduce NOx emissions by up to 36 percent compared to diesel vehicles, greenhouse gas emissions by up to 22 percent compared to gasoline vehicles, and up to 45 percent less particulate matter than electric vehicles throughout the full fuel cycle.

2. Propane is environmentally friendly

When ships come in and out of ports day in and day out, not only do they release harmful emissions into the atmosphere, but they can also have a negative impact on water resources, ecosystems, and marine life. Powering land- and sea-side port equipment with propane can introduce a more environmentally-friendly solution. It is an approved clean alternative fuel under the Clean Air Act. Additionally, the energy source is non-toxic and, if leaked, it vaporizes and dissipates into the air, eliminating contamination to air, land, and water resources. Spilled gasoline or diesel, on the other hand, can quickly contaminate these resources.

3. Propane is only getting cleaner

The energy source itself is seeing innovation and in the near future, more propane will be made from renewable sources. Renewable propane is a byproduct of the renewable diesel and jet fuel production process, which converts plant and vegetable oils, waste greases, and animal fat into energy. Because it’s produced from renewable, raw materials, renewable propane is even cleaner than conventional propane—and far cleaner than other energy sources. And considering its chemical structure and physical properties are the same as traditional propane, renewable propane can be used for all the same applications.

To learn more about the environmental benefits and versatility of propane for port operations, visit


Matt McDonald is the director of off-road business development for the Propane Education & Research Council. He can be reached at


International Windship Association Shares Open Letter Urging Solutions for Climate Concerns

The undersigned,

We call on all maritime industry decision-makers and the entire shipping community to fully assess and utilize all available power solutions that deliver the necessary deep, swift cuts in carbon emissions over the next decade commensurate with responding to the climate emergency. To that end, readily available and proven wind propulsion solutions must be integrated at the very heart of decarbonization deliberations.

Direct wind propulsion provides abundant, free energy, immediately and uniquely suited to and accessible to shipping worldwide without the need for costly land-based infrastructure or logistics investment. Wind technology helps de-risk shipping from its dependency on bunker fuels. Emerging alternative fuels come with multiple challenges – cost, availability, density, and quality and wind propulsion decouples shipping somewhat from these huge uncertainties around whatever ‘flavor’ eco-fuel is adopted.

Whatever size or type of commercial vessel, wind-assist or primary wind propulsion systems quickly provide credible, practical, robust, scalable and economically viable solutions – a dozen large ocean going vessels will be in operation by the end of Q1, 2021, along with 20+ small sail cargo and small cruise vessels.

The potential exists for 20-30% of the global fleet’s energy requirement to be delivered by wind systems. By adopting wind
solutions as part of a hybrid propulsion approach, vessel owners and operators can substantially deliver on the initial level emission savings targets for 2030, thus providing a critical component and step for achieving the 2050 target. A UK Government commissioned study forecasts up to 45% penetration of wind technologies into the global fleet by 2050. A key EU-commissioned report on wind estimates up to 10,700 installations are possible by 2030, including roughly 50% of bulkers and 67% of tankers alone.

Wind propulsion reduces demand, cost and power storage requirements for the next generation of alternative fuels, which
further helps to accelerate and enable the take-up and cost efficiency of these alternative fuels.

Therefore, we call on all shipping industry decision-makers to:

1. Establish a Multi-Stakeholder International Working Group to evaluate and quantify wind propulsion’s potential contribution to decarbonizing the global fleet in the face of the climate emergency. Promote the potential from a hybrid approach to decarbonization with wind propulsion fully integrated together with operational and vessel optimization measures along with eco-fuels.

2. Launch a Comprehensive Strategic Review of shipping industry decarbonization efforts in the context of the climate emergency. Covering all criteria, designations and databases/resources being used, this review would incorporate wind propulsion into all calculations and include a full life cycle analysis of all alternative propulsion systems and fuels so that the industry can fully appreciate the merits of each proposed system. The review should quantify all externalities including infrastructure development and production costs of all alternative propulsion systems and fuels along with their direct and indirect climate impacts.

3. Ensure a ‘level playing field’ is created and maintained for all power systems, removal of market and non-market barriers
as well as fair and balanced allocation of R&D finances and resources in the future.

4. Do more and go beyond the current narrow fuel-centric approach by adopting a fully integrated alternative propulsion approach to decarbonization pathways and policy. Doing so will create a proportionate, measured strategy that is absolutely essential to achieving the industry emissions targets. We believe that wind propulsion systems must be fully integrated within this strategy to help achieve decarbonization as quickly as possible and that this will be broadly welcomed by the shipping industry.


Port-Side Energy Debate: Propane vs. Electric

Ports and terminals across the country are looking for opportunities to streamline their operation, reduce their environmental impact, and increase efficiency, which leads to a common question: What alternative energy keeps ports productive while cutting emissions?

Both propane and electric solutions offer certain operational benefits. For example, electric equipment produces zero emissions during operation and offers reliable performance when handling lighter loads. Propane equipment, on the other hand, is popular for its nonstop power, resiliency, and versatility to handle loads of all sizes.

It’s important to consider which energy source can help you get the most out of your workday and your equipment. Propane-powered equipment can help ports maximize efficiency, while still allowing port crews to be proud stewards of the environment. And because propane is a primary energy source and electricity is a secondary energy source, it takes more energy to produce electricity, impacting its cleanliness, efficiency, and cost.

A transparent look at site-to-source emissions

As ports and terminals seeking reduced emissions and better air quality flee from traditional fuels, like gasoline and diesel, many have a tendency to adopt an electrify-everything mindset — but a low-emissions future doesn’t need to be an electric-only one.

Propane presents another alternative to traditional diesel-powered equipment — and with a more transparent emissions profile than electricity. Many material handling professionals I speak to are surprised to learn that propane is actually cleaner than electric when you take site-to-source emissions into account.

While it’s true electric-powered equipment and vehicles produce zero emissions during operation, it’s full emissions profile and impact is often overlooked, including emissions produced in the creation and transmission of electric batteries. Additionally, you have to consider the emissions produced at coal-fired plants where electricity is generated, as well as the emissions during transportation to the port. And because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers electric batteries a hazardous material, you can’t simply dispose of them without severely impacting the environment. Instead, they have specific handling and disposal regulations attached.

Propane, on the other hand, is an approved clean alternative fuel under the Clean Air Act of 1990 and, according to data from the Propane Education & Research Council, using propane produces 43 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than using an equivalent amount of electricity generated from the U.S. grid

Additionally, renewable propane is an emerging energy source that will be able to offer clean, low-emissions operations. Renewable propane is a byproduct of the renewable diesel and jet fuel production process, which converts plant and vegetable oils, waste greases, and animal fat into energy. Because it’s produced from renewable, raw materials, renewable propane is even cleaner than conventional propane — and far cleaner than other energy sources. And considering its chemical structure and physical properties are the same as traditional propane, renewable propane can be used for all the same applications.

Unmatched performance for maximum productivity

We all know that crews working port-side don’t have time to waste during the workday. According to IHS Markit’s Global Trade Atlas (GTA) Forecasting, North American seaports handled 2.34 billion metric tons of goods, valued at $2.53 trillion. In order to keep pace with the demanding workload and efficiently perform heavy-duty tasks, crews need powerful, versatile equipment.

Battery-powered forklifts and electric vehicles can be a compelling solution when handling lighter tasks, but performance in a port setting is really where propane sets itself apart. Propane offers the versatility to handle virtually every workload size and most notably, dominates the middle and top weight classes of forklifts with 90 percent of Class 4 and 5 forklifts being powered by propane. This means you can look to propane for a one-fuel solution, plus you won’t have to schedule downtime for recharging, like with electric.

Reliability when you need it most

Port cities are historic, which often means they’re relying on much older energy grids. But because of their relentless workload, it’s important for port operations to be as independent and autonomous with their energy source as possible. Fortunately, propane is a dependable, resilient energy source that can be stored on-site so it’s always there when you need it.

To learn more about the benefits of port-side propane equipment, visit


Matt McDonald is the director of off-road business development for the Propane Education & Research Council. He can be reached at

solar water heater

Global Solar Water Heater Market Forecasted for Healthy Growth by 2025

According to a recent study from market research firm Global Market Insights, the solar water heater market is set to grow from its current market value of more than $1 billion to over $3 billion by 2025, gaining remarkable traction over 2020 to 2025 period.

Growing demand for cost-effective, advanced, and energy-efficient water heating solutions would expand the solar water heater industry landscape in the forthcoming years. Solar water heaters, also known as solar domestic hot water systems, are a cost-effective way to generate hot water in any climate. These solar water systems are comprised of two major components, which are storage tanks and solar collectors.

The installation of solar water heating systems usually costs more than conventional heating systems. However, incorporation of these systems in domestic and industrial settings minimizes fuel and gas bills by up to 50% – 80% and reduces carbon emission produced by other water heater systems.

Growing awareness towards sustainable sources of energy will substantially augment the adoption of solar water heaters. According to a Global Market Insights, Inc., forecast, the global solar water heater market size is estimated to surpass $3 billion by 2025.

Flat plate collectors are used to collecting solar energy, which is further used to heat water in the home for washing, bathing, and heating water pools and others. The benefits of the product such as low cost, simple design, and comparatively easier installation than other hot water heating systems will augment its demand for most residential and small commercial hot water applications.

Increasing demand for energy-efficient water heating systems in commercial and household settings would boost the adoption of flat plate collectors.

Evacuated tube collectors are comprised of transparent glass tubes and metal absorbers which increases absorption of solar energy and reduces heat loss. On account of such features, these collectors are broadly used in commercial applications across the U.S.

The thermosyphon system is the commonly known solar-heated hot water system. These commercially available solar hot water systems work by combining a storage tanker and roof-mounted flat plate collector. Growing demand for cost-effective, nature-friendly, energy-efficient, and capacity solar water heater solutions from commercial establishments will increase their deployment in the coming years.

The European solar water heater industry is expected to witness significant growth owing to several government initiatives to increase the adoption of renewable sources of energy. Such initiatives include priorities set by the European Union in the energy field for the development of energy production from renewable resources. The renewable resources development targets reducing the dependence on scarce fossil fuels and minimizing CO2 emissions.

Reportedly, the adoption of energy-efficient water heaters and household spaces can save European people over €60 billion by 2020, including electricity saving of nearly 600 TWh and reduction of CO2 emission up to 135 million tons. In several northern European countries, hot water and space heating systems are jointly used to provide 15 to 25% of home heating energy.

China leads the global industry in terms of solar water heaters installations which accounts for nearly 30 million in Chinese households. The widespread product deployment is mainly due to its functional effectiveness in cloudy weather and at even low temperatures. In several climates, these systems can render up to 85% of domestic hot water energy.


electric trucks

DHL Goes Green with BYD Electric Trucks

Build-Your-Dreams continues to make headlines by adding more options in sustainable fleet solutions for the global and domestic transportation arenas. The world’s leading electric vehicle company announced this week that DHL added four of its Class 8 battery-electric trucks to support operations in Los Angeles.

The four trucks will undergo piloting in the Los Angeles region before hauling goods to and from the DHL LAX Gateway and other facilities. The BYD-manufactured transportation solutions are in addition to DHL’s robust order of 72 total all-electric battery-powered vans with other various vendors, according to information released.

“As a global leader in logistics and express services, DHL has proved that they’re serious about their commitment to transition to zero-emission trucking,” said John Gerra, Sr. Director of Business Development at BYD Motors. “DHL is doing more than just talking about it; they’re actually putting BYD electric trucks into commercial service, today.”

DHL currently utilizes environmentally-conscious fleet options including fully electric, hybrid-electric, and clean diesel, and low-power electric-assist e-Cargo Cycles. As part of the Strategy 2025 initiative, the Deutsche Post DHL Group continues making significant progress in sustainable operations after announcing the goal of net-zero logistics-related emissions by 2050.

“The introduction of these efficient electric trucks is a huge step forward, not only toward achieving our own clean transport goals, but also California’s ambitious goals on the adoption of zero-emission vehicles,” said Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S. “By implementing these electric trucks, we will prevent more than 300 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere per year, as we continue to grow and enhance our clean pick-up and delivery solutions.”


Biogas Market – Tremendous Potential of Landfill Gas will Fuel the Adoption of Renewable Energy

Biogas consumption has gained steady momentum due to the growing development of biogas plants in rural areas, as they are known to be a free source of renewable energy. Besides providing energy, biogas plants help in the improvement of public hygiene, curbing pollution, and recycling of waste materials. The biogas produced can be used to generate electricity and act as a substitute for gasoline and other fuels.

Rising environmental concerns regarding climate change and the steadily depleting natural resources has forced an extensive use of biogas products worldwide, propelling biogas market trends and the emergence of compatible technologies. Using this renewable energy source curbs the release of methane into the atmosphere and reduces the dependency on fossil fuels.

Mitigating the effects of emissions from transportation

After having used every potential biogas in the U.S., the total methane emissions reduced will be equal to the yearly emission of around 800,000 to 11 million passenger vehicles. Moreover, anaerobic digestion can be advantageous to both climate and the local economies. Developing about 13,500 biogas systems in the U.S. would lead to adding more than 335,000 temporary jobs in construction as well as 23,000 permanent jobs.

There has been a widespread insistence on the use of renewable energy sources leading to the massive penetration of biofuel in the transportation sector. For instance, conventional biofuels held nearly 4% of the total world transport fuel in the year 2016. Numerous biofuel projects have been introduced in countries like India, Thailand, and China. Various nations importing petroleum products are backed by improved policy support for biofuels that are produced domestically and has influenced the market for ethanol and biodiesel.

Widespread production of LFG gas in the United States

Landfills have been considered the third-largest source of methane emissions related to humans in the U.S. These landfills have anaerobic bacteria content similar to a digester which breaks down different organic materials to be able to produce biogas, and in this case, it is called landfill gas (LFG). The LFG gas can be collected and used as a form of energy instead of letting the gas out into the atmosphere.

An average home in the U.S. would use nearly 10,812 kilowatt-hours of electricity every year in 2015, while the LFG projects across the U.S. produce electricity of around 17 billion kilowatt-hours as well as deliver LFG of about 98 billion cubic feet into natural gas pipelines or even to the end-users directly every year.

Favorable government policies to foster the biogas industry

Government policies regarding the use of biogas in numerous developing countries have been the prime factor driving global biogas industry forecasts. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India, for instance, will be implementing the National Biogas and Manure Management Program (NBMMP) across every state as well as the Union territories. India had witnessed an installation of nearly 4.75 million biogas plants as of March 31, 2014.

The government had set a target of setting up about 110,000 biogas plants in India which has been considered as the best option for households that have feed material, as it helps them to become self-dependent for cooking gas as well as obtain a highly organic-rich bio-manure.

Similar efforts will also assist households by protecting them from air pollution indoor and also saving the cost of constantly refilling LPG cylinders. The ministry is also known to provide subsidy for biogas plants that suitable are for families, which has resulted in the rise in general awareness regarding the biogas industry and its potential contribution towards environmental upliftment.


IMO 2020

IMO 2020 Fuels the Sustainable Transition of the Shipping Sector

The deadline for the much-anticipated IMO 2020 regulation has arrived and with it comes a new set of challenges, potential solutions and newfound awareness of the impact this will have on all players within the shipping sector—from shippers to fuel suppliers. Reports of vessels found to be noncompliant have already shown up in news headlines while fuel alternatives, such as fuel blends, continue to present new degrees of barriers to overcome.

There’s no doubt that the end-goal for IMO 2020 is ultimately beneficial, but attaining its goal of reduced emissions globally will undoubtedly continue to present new varieties of disruptions that industry players and lawmakers around the world must strategically think through. David McCullough, a partner in the Energy & Infrastructure practice group at the New York office of Eversheds Sutherland, discussed with Global Trade the ways the industry is handling compliance so far.

“For shippers, it’s a contractual and compliance issue,” McCullough explains, “meaning reviewing their contractual agreements to charter the vessels to determine what liability is being shifted to them and their contracts to purchase bunker fuel, all while trying to find the appropriate balance of where liability should fall in the event of noncompliance.

“The second aspect is to review their compliance procedures, namely reviewing sampling and testing procedures recommended by the IMO and IMO 2020 itself,” McCullough continued. “It’s also a document retention aspect because under certain charter party agreements, they can be liable for noncompliance in the bunker delivery notes or for general noncompliance.”

McCullough noted that “For the first time ever, bunker fuel tanks are needing to be cleaned and that is largely on the owner and operator of the vessel. The individual shipper may need to coordinate with them to ensure that has happened. Being proactive can mean looking at their vessel owner’s implementation plan and ensuring these have been implemented without issue. The vast majority of companies will comply, but there’s likely a very discreet universe of companies out there that may not comply with the IMO 2020 requirements or have taken minimal steps at this point. Analysts often say these companies represent between 10-20 percent of voyages in the first year of IMO 2020.”

Beyond the issue of noncompliance remains unanswered questions to existing and potential disruptions with the regulation, from contracts and jurisdictions right down to fuel components and the controversial provisions found in the Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR). How these issues will be handled in unique and changing circumstances remains unknown and it’s uncertain how the answers will come about and what their impact will be on industry players.

“The FONAR legal standard states that the vessel needs to make best efforts to find compliant fuel but need not deviate from its voyage plan in doing so,” McCullough clarifies. “This is a real open question, specifically for port states, in how liberal they will be with these provisions. We don’t have a definition over this standard yet. Does not deviating from your voyage plan mean shippers don’t have to look for a different berth at the same terminal or a different dock or anchoring point? What about a different terminal within the same port? What about a different port that is nearby?

“Industry players also aren’t sure if they will need to look at the availability of compliant fuel oil or if there’s a need to look at the availability of distillate fuel because presumably, in many ports, there will be ultra-low-Sulphur distillate or low Sulphur distillate fuel available. There is the question if companies will have to be required to put No. 2 ULSD into the bunker fuel tank at an extreme premium or not. This is unlikely, but those questions and how individual countries implement those standards are real implementation questions. If they’re overly lenient in issuing FONARs, it could undercut the market for low-Sulphur fuel.”

McCullough goes on to explain additional associated risks can result in a noncompliant blend, vessel engine performance issues or the fuel and distillates separating, creating added issues in compliance. There’s also the concern of the distillate fuel cleaning the bunker fuel tanks and knocking loose the residue not previously able to be cleaned, according to the law partner.

“Compatibility of fuel blends could remain a challenge for some time—only time will tell if this is a real concern,” McCullough says. “The industry has a new product that is coming on the market meeting the IMO 2020 standard using blends of fuel oil and distillate of varying degrees. This results in different characteristics and components and it’s unknown how a blend created in one jurisdiction reacts with a blend from another. This is still an open question and something that is of significant concern.

“We might start seeing a rebalance in the marketplace as far as contractual provisions go as time goes by, with some counterparties requiring that the new fuels will be compatible with the fuel existing in the tank, or bunker fuel suppliers stating that their fuel is compatible with certain type of blends.” He adds it will be the marketplace that determines that issue.

These unresolved challenges and works in progress arrive as compliance efforts directly impact market investments, specifically in the United States and Singapore. Global companies and competitors that get away with noncompliance from a regulatory or a contractual standpoint ultimately undercut compliant company business models. Because these regions are heavily invested in regulations such as IMO 2020, there lies an expectation for enforcement. Whether these challenges are addressed now or later will be seen in the weeks to come as more shippers are faced with tough decisions if they want to continue operations.


David McCullough is a partner in the Energy & Infrastructure practice group at the New York office of Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP.

He adds to the above:  “Certain countries–such as the United States and Singapore—are well-positioned to comply with the standards in terms of availability of low-Sulphur fuel and active companies in those jurisdictions that have made significant investments in those jurisdictions have really wanted to see robust compliance and enforcement due to the local interests that have made such investments and their concern that noncompliance just undercuts their investments. There’s a number of companies with very significant financial incentives to ensure robust compliance with the standard and as a result, because you have two countries (U.S. and Singapore) with high interest and investment in seeing this law enforced, the industry will very quickly see the rates of compliance increase significantly.”