Reducing Miles and Emissions Through Supply Chain Initiatives

Flatbed trucks at a plant in Fresno, Texas

As a company, Ecolab has embraced a host of measures to enable us to reach our ambitious emissions reductions goals.   

This includes our supply chain. Several initiatives introduced in North America in 2022 have led to a reduction of more than 5.2 million miles driven and over 10,700 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided. These projects include moving product manufacturing closer to the customer and switching from trucking to other forms of transportation. 

“Our team has worked diligently by manufacturing locally, optimizing utilization of our trailers and converting to intermodal transport. These have all led to taking miles off the road, helping to avoid greenhouse gas emissions as a result,” said Ryan Hanson, Ecolab senior vice president, North America Supply Chain. 

The majority of 2022 reductions were in Scope 3 emissions, since most Ecolab deliveries are handled by external third parties, though some savings have been realized in Scope 1 emissions through the Nalco Water fleet of delivery vehicles.

Here are highlights of the 2022 initiatives and associated impact reductions:

  • 3,744,972 miles saved and 8,482 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided by converting to intermodal freight transport via rail. 
  • 846,796 miles saved and 1,323 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided through a 14% increase in order sizes from Q4 2021 to Q4 2022, resulting in savings of 31 miles per delivery.  
  • 361,451 miles saved and 566 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided by moving product manufacturing closer to the customer. 
  • 155,030 miles saved and 242 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided by being closer to the customer through improvements in shipping and warehouse practices, such as faster turnaround for receiving inter-company product transfers and more efficient inventory management practices. 
  • 98,764 miles saved and 39 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided by using passenger vehicles in place of trucks for small deliveries, thereby enhancing fuel efficiency. 
  • 38,405 miles removed and 60 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided by reducing returns through tech-driven solutions and a reverse logistics engagement program initiated in August 2022.
  • 1,540 miles saved and 2 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided through a program started in December 2022 to insource, rather than outsource, bulk raw materials to two of our plants, which saved two round trips in a single month.  

“While we’ve accomplished a lot in 2022, there is still more work to do. Going forward, we will continue to look at additional ways to exceed customer expectations while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, our manufacturing plants and Ecolab Customer Care centers are working to deliver a positive impact to help protect our planet through energy and water reduction and the use of solar. I am very proud of our team.

Ryan Hanson 

Ecolab Senior Vice President, North America Supply Chain. 

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