State by State, Emissions Laws Are Tightening. Are You Prepared?

As logistics professionals, we all see the value in increasing the sustainability of our fleets that promotes greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. But completely transitioning away from internal combustion engines and adopting 100% zero-emissions truck designs represents a big challenge for our industry. On the road there, we need to track our emissions, report on them, and make reductions in cost-effective ways — for example, by optimizing routes, consolidating loads and otherwise optimizing our daily transportation management practices. 

As an industry, we’re proactively investing in sustainability not only because it’s the right thing to do — but also because it’s the compliant thing to do. Increasingly, new state laws require transportation teams to significantly increase their efforts to measure, reduce and report their GHG emissions. Fleet owners, brokers and carriers all need to understand and comply with these tightening standards, which can vary greatly across states and regions. 

Where California Leads, Other States Follow

As we’ve noted before, California is a driving force in enacting strict emissions reduction and reporting standards that are often mirrored by other states. So let’s look at some recent mandates defined by the California Air Resources Board, or CARB — the state’s leading agency for climate change programs, with oversight for all air pollution control efforts and air quality standards.   

Last year, CARB made a bold move to reduce the emissions produced by truck fleets with its Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) Regulation. This state law requires medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to decrease their GHG emissions and demonstrate compliance with tighter emissions standards. Truck fleets must report their GHG emissions online using the state’s Truck Regulation Upload, Compliance and Reporting System (TRUCRS) beginning this year, as well as gradually phase-in the use of zero-emissions vehicles. By 2036, truck manufacturers will need to produce only zero-emissions vehicles. And, by 2045, every truck on the road in California must be a zero-emissions vehicle. 

The federal Clean Air Act (CAA), which originated in 1963 and has been amended repeatedly, allows California to enforce its own standards for engines, vehicles and emissions. Under Section 177, it also permits other states to adopt California’s emissions standards, provided they are identical to the original regulations. A growing number of states have chosen to enact new heavy-duty vehicle emissions laws that originated in California. In addition, many states have introduced zero-emissions regulations aimed at phasing out internal combustion engines.  

How Can You Successfully Navigate These State Laws? 

Since many trucking fleets operate in multiple states and regions of the US, it can be difficult to navigate today’s complex web of state-by-state GHG emissions regulations.   

One thing is certain: Transportation teams need to have new processes and tools in place to automate and simplify their measurement and reporting of emissions. With California enacting an online reporting platform this year, other states are sure to follow. Now is the time to get ready by establishing an easy, cost-effective way to track and report all your emissions, no matter how many trucks you have on the road and where they’re traveling. 

How can shippers manage this complex process, given the many other challenges they’re facing today? The answer is simple: By leveraging Redwood Hyperion, our proprietary, advanced solution for tracking and reporting freight emissions.  

By connecting Redwood Hyperion directly to their transportation management system (TMS) using our logistics integration platform, RedwoodConnect, transportation teams can automatically calculate their load-by-load GHG emissions. Because data is ingested directly from a source system, the TMS, it’s verified for accuracy and easy to access. 

Hyperion is a technology-agnostic solution, so it can seamlessly gather data from one or multiple freight systems, such as TMS, WMS, or other data sources. That makes it seamless to measure both Scope 1 emissions produced internally, as well as Scope 3 emissions associated with external freight carriers and brokers.  

By leveraging this purpose-built sustainability solution, transportation teams can avoid adding specialized expertise or creating complicated administrative processes to comply with emissions reporting laws. Redwood Hyperion is an automated tool to capture the needed shipping data, perform complex emissions calculations in seconds, and produce accurate emissions data. It tracks key performance indicators (KPIs), including GHG emissions, to support the continuous improvement of critical sustainability metrics.

Redwood: Your Partner in Sustainability 

While Hyperion is the ideal solution for complying with tightening state-by-state emissions reporting requirements, it’s only the beginning of Redwood’s support for your sustainability efforts.  

We offer a range of solutions and services aimed at optimizing your transportation operations from both an environmental and a cost perspective — for example, by optimizing modes and routes, consolidating loads and containers, aggregating shipments and applying other best practices. We also have a dedicated team of  Eco Advisory experts that can help you define and achieve ambitious emissions-reduction targets and other sustainability goals.  

We’re willing to meet customers wherever they are on the journey to sustainability, providing the just-right level of support they need. Whether you’re just starting out, or well on your way, contact Redwood to learn more.