EPA has honored 37 organizations with its 2009 SmartWay Excellence Awards for slashing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and saving fuel through significant improvements to their freight operations.

“EPA’s SmartWay partnership helps freight companies go the extra mile by saving fuel and money, while cutting air pollution,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Within our nation’s hard-working freight sector, SmartWay Excellence Award winners have stepped up to help protect our health, climate and environment.”

These organizations are setting an example in the transportation industry, addressing climate change by investing in clean truck technologies, adopting freight management strategies that reduce carbon emissions, and promoting the benefits of the SmartWay Transport Partnership. Winners were recognized across four categories (carrier, shipper, logistics, affiliate) at a ceremony held in conjunction with the American Trucking Association’s Annual Management Conference & Exhibit in Las Vegas.

EPA launched SmartWay in 2004 to help improve the freight industry’s environmental performance. Today more than 2,000 organizations participate, ranging from large multi-national trucking fleets, several rail companies, many well-known retail and commercial shippers, as well as small “mom and pop” trucking companies.

Through their SmartWay participation, these companies both calculate and adopt strategies for lowering their transportation energy use and CO2 emissions. EPA provides technical support, including tools to evaluate options for lowering fuel use and emissions, and help in locating financing for the purchase of environmental and fuel saving technology.

In 2009, the partnership projects that it will eliminate six million tons of CO2 and conserve more than 540 million gallons of diesel fuel, a savings of at least $1.3 billion a year in fuel costs.