Our Sustainability initiatives are focused around the Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet, and Purpose. Since many of these coincide with other pillars, such as Service and Safety, this section will concentrate on our environmental initiatives:
It is unsurprising that 90% of PITT OHIO’s carbon emissions come from the trucks. We moved almost 2 million tons of freight in 2019 and last year was the second year in a row our operations drove over 100 million miles. Through a collaboration between Operations and Vehicle Maintenance, our average truck miles per gallon improved by 1.1%. This small percentage results in saving an estimated 175,000 gallons of diesel a year. That energy savings is equivalent to what it would take to power 200 homes for 1 year. In 2020, the PITT OHIO team has a goal to improve miles per gallon another 4% through the equipment mix, driver metrics, and maintenance processes. A 4% improvement in miles per gallon could lower our diesel usage by almost 600,000 gallons.
PITT OHIO knows that fossil fuels continue to be one of the highest sources of carbon emissions. Therefore, renewable energy continues to be a key part of our sustainability strategy. Onsite energy production and consumption is the most efficient way to use energy. The power grid is subject to fluctuations and energy is lost as it moves through the grid. Clean, renewable solar and wind energy are currently powering 3 of our facilities. For terminals with renewable energy and battery storage, self-consumption improves overall system efficiency from 5% and up to 14% when DC lighting fixtures are used (Source: WindStax). An additional 3.7% (PA) and 4.9% (OH) efficiency is gained by eliminating transmission and distribution losses that occur when the electricity comes from the utilities. The avoided loss is an additional external benefit to the environment by further reducing greenhouse gas emissions of traditional generation. (Data source: US Energy Information Administration 2018).
Our vision is to harness renewable DC energy to charge electric trucks. We are working with a variety of partners from the vehicle manufacturers to the engineering departments of universities to create this new paradigm. In fall of 2019, we tested our first electric vehicle. Based on that experience, our Vehicle Maintenance and Operations teams are working closely with vehicle manufacturers on examining other electric vehicles on the market. We are also in the middle of researching fast charging for trucks off of our DC power renewable energy powered microgrid. Currently renewable energy makes up 7% of PITT OHIO’s electricity usage. When our new Cleveland facility opens in 2020, 10% of our energy usage will be renewable. In addition, PITT OHIO is using weather stations to make data-driven decisions on where to further invest in renewable energy.
On the dock, another way we are substituting carbon-based fuels is switching from propane forklifts to electric forklifts. Electric forklifts run cleaner and quieter on our docks and when we can power them off of renewable energy, they contribute zero emissions.
This was the second year of our Annual Sustainable Terminal of the Year, an internal recognition of the hard work our terminal operations put in to improving miles per gallon, reducing energy usage, reducing carbon footprint, and giving back to their communities. Each terminal is measured by their own year-over-year improvement. This year’s winning terminal, Cincinnati OH, improved their average city miles per gallon by 2.2%, saving an estimated 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel. As part of implementing electric forklifts, their total carbon emissions from propane and electricity went down by 25%. They truly showed innovation in making their terminal and their community more sustainable.
In the office, all employees contributed to reducing paper usage at PITT OHIO by going to paperless pay stubs in 2019. We estimate saving over 200,000 sheets of paper annual, which is equivalent to 21 trees.
PITT OHIO’s award-winning service results from the dedication and hard work of our employees. Our Mission states that we are Customer Driven, People Driven and Quality Driven. From our drivers, dockworkers and operations specialists to our vehicle maintenance and building maintenance professionals, every facet of the PITT OHIO experience reflects our team’s efforts to put forward the high value service on which our customers (and their customers!) depend. Therefore, it is critical that PITT OHIO invests in and innovates our employees’ experience, as well.
We are proud once again to receive a 2019 Top Workplace honor in 4 locations: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, Indiana, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Cleveland, Ohio. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by Energage (formerly WorkplaceDynamics, LLC). PITT OHIO made the list in Pittsburgh for the ninth straight year.
One example of the way we support our employees is through our company’s Rainy Day Fund, which was created to help manage the stress and reduce distracted driving that could come from a personal financial issue. In 2019, the Rainy Day Fund program had over 1,200 participants and PITT OHIO contributed over $130,000 to their savings to encourage fiscal responsibility.
In addition, we thank our customers and partners for the following recognition in 2019:
- 2019 Top 100 Trucking Company By Inbound Logistics
- Regional Carrier Of The Year – Transplace
- Platinum Carrier Of The Year – Echo Global Logistics
- Regional Carrier Of The Year – Mode Transportation
- Northeast Regional Carrier Of The Year – American Group
- Northeast Regional Carrier Of The Year – Worldwide Express
- 2019 Inbound Logistics Top Green Supply Chain Partner
- Eastman Chemical Supplier Excellence Award
- Logistics Management Quest For Quality Award - Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional LTL
- Logistics Management Quest For Quality Award – Expedite Service
- Ohio Trucking Association (OTA) President’s Trophy
- American Trucking Association’s President’s Trophy in the Over 100 Million Miles category
- 2019 Top Green Fleet By Heavy Duty Trucking
Please visit our website for a full listing of all awards the PITT OHIO organization has won throughout the years at https://works.pittohio.com/mypittohio/news/awards/recent-awards
We also see Service as how we participate in our communities and on a Corporate level we donate to a variety of charities and organizations. In addition to our Corporate giving of over $1.1 million dollars, PITT OHIO employees worked to donate over $144,000 to our designated charities in 2019, an increase of $20,000 (16%) over 2018.
In 2019 PITT OHIO launched a new way for customers to keep an eye on deliveries automatically: Delivery Track. Shippers receive an estimated time of arrival (ETA) and they can watch in real time as their driver moves through various stops on the way to the delivery. Delivery Track applies sophisticated data mining techniques along with a graphical display to provide customers with the information they need in regard to their delivery.
Safety is an integral part of what we do day in and day out. 2019 marks the seventh time PITT OHIO has received the prestigious American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) President’s Trophy. PITT OHIO has won every year it has been eligible, but due to growth this was the first year PITT OHIO has won in the Over 100 Million Miles category. The ATA President’s Trophy is the highest safety award available to motor carriers in the United States and is presented annually to only 3 motor carriers to win on the basis of safety record, program and community outreach activities. PITT OHIO also won the Ohio Trucking Association (OTA) President’s Trophy.
Another thing we are proud of is how many our drivers are able to drive a million miles without an accident or incident. As of 2020, PITT OHIO has had over 1,000 drivers reach this milestone and beyond.
1 Million Mile – 906
2 Million Miles – 195
3 Million Miles – 4
Over the past year, PITT OHIO has seen more of our partners, customers, and employees show an interest in how sustainability affects our work and our communities. We see companies around the world talking about how sustainability can be a source of efficiency and innovation across the supply chain. In 2020, we are looking forward to opening our 2nd LEED certified terminal outside of Cleveland, Ohio. We are looking to continue our engagement with all of our stakeholders on the topic of sustainability. When we work together, the greater the solutions we uncover.
For more information about PITT OHIO’s sustainability program, please contact Justine Russo, Director of Sustainability and BI or visit www.pittohio.com/sustainability.