As the largest privately held LTL carrier in North America, Estes understands that our day-to-day actions have an impact on the world around us. That’s why we strive to reduce the emission of harmful pollutants and the consumption of natural resources by adhering to eco-friendly policies and processes throughout our company.
In addition to helping preserve the environment, many of our green initiatives also allow us to operate more efficiently and cost effectively. Every day, Estes proves that it is possible to provide affordable, top-of-the-line freight transportation services while still being good stewards of the earth. Here’s how we do it:
The EPA has consistently awarded Estes the highest possible score among SmartWay partners for our environmental efforts. Estes also uses vendors that are EPA SmartWay partners for purchases of new tractors, trailers and tires.
From lightbulbs to scrap metal, Estes keeps waste out of landfills and conserves precious natural resources by reusing and recycling materials. Learn more.
Recycling efforts—We send all of our scrap metal to recyclers, which has kept thousands of tons out of landfills across the country. What’s more, we help protect the groundwater by having a licensed disposal company collect and recycle our used antifreeze, oil and oil filters in an environmentally-responsible manner.
Improved shop cloths—We conserve water and electricity—and help keep detergents and other chemicals from the environment—by replacing washable cloth shop rags with biodegradable, paper-based clean-up sheets.
Paper conservation—Between 2006 and 2008, Estes reduced its company-wide paper usage by over seven million sheets. We’ve accomplished this through employee education and by providing customers with “paperless” e-commerce solutions (online shipping forms, EDI and Web Services, etc.).
Refurbished parts and components—We utilize rebuilt/remanufactured components when repairing units—including starters, alternators, brake shoes, transmissions, differentials and other miscellaneous parts.
LED lighting—All 2006 and newer equipment purchases are equipped with LED lighting. This long-life lighting technology will reduce the number of lightbulbs we discard by an estimated 50%.
Reusing materials—Each of our 200+ terminals reuse discarded cardboard and pallets as dunnage to keep freight secure during transit.
Recapped tires—Estes recapped nearly 36,000 tires in 2008; 42,000 tires in 2009; and over 57,000 tires in 2010, extending tread life and reducing waste.
Estes employees follow environmentally responsible procedures to keep harmful pollutants out of the air and groundwater in the communities we serve. Learn more.
Nonhazardous cleaning solutions—Our shop facilities utilize a nonhazardous solution for parts cleaning to minimize waste disposal. Additionally, in an effort to protect groundwater from contaminants, no chlorinated solvents are used in our shops.
Smarter wash systems—Many of our wash systems feature oil-water separators, plus closed-loop applications that minimize discharge to sewer systems. For facilities without wash systems, outside contractors reclaim all wash water.
We’ve also eliminated the use of acids in our trailer-washing process to prevent metals from seeping into the groundwater system.
Refrigerant capture—When servicing our air conditioning units, we always capture Freon and other harmful refrigerants to ensure that they are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
Better tank systems—Most of our in-house fuel facilities utilize above-ground tank systems. These systems meet or exceed all federal, state and local regulations. Many are equipped with canopies to help prevent storm-water runoff, as well as 5-minute timers to limit potential spillage.
Maintenance—Our programs feature more efficient, routinely scheduled maintenance, so we’re able to reduce the amount of waste oil to be recycled.
Mosquito prevention—Our mounted wheel program helps prevent the build-up of standing water in tires, which can attract mosquitoes and spread diseases like the West Nile virus.
Wheel refurbishing—We’ve reduced the use of aerosols in our shops by sending our wheels to responsible outside contractors for restoration.
Earth-friendly parts washing—Estes shops feature self-contained sinks for washing vehicle parts, which helps prevent oil and chemicals from entering the environment.
Solar energy is a non-polluting and renewable resource for providing reliable power year-round. Estes has installed a solar power system in our terminal in Elkton, MD, and a Baltimore, MD, installation is also underway. Learn more.
Results look promising:
The Elkton system includes 1,232 solar panels that will generate an estimated 360,000 kilowatt-hours annually, and Baltimore will incorporate 1,100 rooftop panels to generate approximately 320,000 kilowatt-hours.
The system will provide for approximately 93% of the terminals' annual energy needs and will reduce CO2 emissions for Elkton by about 254 metric tons annually and for Baltimore by 227 metric tons.
Through this project alone, Estes' annual environmental contribution toward reducing CO2 emissions totals 481 metric tons. Below are some comparable equivalents that illustrate the magnitude of the positive impact on the environment.
Making environmentally responsible decisions about fuel usage is an important part of Estes’ green program. We’ve successfully lessened our environmental impact by using cleaner fuels and taking steps to improve our equipment’s fuel efficiency. By making sure we carry freight as efficiently as possible, we minimize our truck’s fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Learn more.
Bio-diesel—We are using B5 blend bio-diesel in some states.
ULSD fuel—We only use ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel) fuel, which reduces the emission of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.
Conversion to propane—All of our forklifts have been converted from gasoline/diesel to propane.
PrePass and EZ Pass—Our drivers utilize PrePass and EZ Pass to bypass weight stations and toll plazas, which means that our trucks spend less time idling.
Fuel economy monitors—Each of our trucks is equipped with technology that allows us to track and measure its fuel economy. This technology allows us to quickly address any issues that might be leading to wasted fuel.
Idle shutdown system—All of our tractors are equipped with idle shutdown systems set at 3 minutes.
Improved aerodynamics—All of our equipment has air farings and side farings to improve aerodynamics, resulting in lower fuel usage.
Reduced oil consumption—We use synthetic lubricants for all drive trains (transmissions and rears) that reduce friction and improve fuel mileage.
Low-profile tires—We are converting our entire fleet to low-profile tires, resulting in reduced rolling resistance and lower fuel consumption.
Speed management—We have reduced power-unit speed from 68 to 65 mph to increase the number of miles we get per gallon.
Weight reduction—By using aluminum fuel tanks in lieu of steel, we have reduced our power unit weight by 65 lbs. This decrease in weight leads to a big increase in fuel efficiency.
Card-locked fuel systems—We use card-locked systems for our vehicles to foil wasteful, unauthorized access to fuel. Our systems also employ breakaway hoses to help prevent potential soil and water pollution from fuel spills.
Innovative route-planning software—Estes uses sophisticated route-planning software to ensure that we carry freight as efficiently as possible, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and unnecessary fuel usage.
Fewer empty loads—Estes has reduced empty loads by over 25% since 2007, reducing our freight carbon emissions by 7,744 tons.
Intermodal transport—Estes has increased the number of miles it carries freight via rail by more than 300% since 2007, reducing our freight carbon emissions by an additional 11,434 tons.
For a trucking company, when calculating a carbon footprint, it all boils down to effective driver practices, efficient engines and streamlined routing. For Estes, our strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions takes those basic certainties into consideration. Learn more.