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"In 2011, we achieved almost 69 percent improvement in fleet efficiency over our 2005 baseline," Wal-Mart boasted in its 2012 Global Responsibility Report. "We delivered 65 million more cases, while driving 28 million fewer miles, by increasing our pallets per trailer and better managing our routes. Our network efficiency improvement equates to avoiding nearly 41,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent to taking 7,900 cars off the road," the company wrote.
In 2013, FedEx will have improved the fuel efficiency of its U.S. vehicle fleet by 22 percent compared with 2005, Chairman Frederick Smith has said. The company surpassed its previous goal of a 20-percent improvement by 2020 seven years early. Smith has now committed the company to an even more ambitious 30-percent target for the global vehicle fleet by the end of the decade.
Fuel conservation programs are being replicated at hundreds of firms across the transportation and logistics sector.
The price of oil and fuel volatility is definitely a driver, but not as much as the push to reduce carbon emissions," according to a report published by the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. In practice, what started as a carbon-saving program during the 2004-2008 boom has become a cost-saving initiative in the lean years that have followed.
"Adding efficiency to any part of the supply chain produces better returns. The good thing is that much of what we do to improve fuel economy translates to the bottom line as improved profitability. Every bit of energy you save is money in your pocket," according to the Wharton report.
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