Walgreens recognized by EPA for supply chain leadership

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award, the organization's highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in supply chain goods movement. The award — recognizing Walgreens as an industry leader in freight supply chain efficiency, performance and environmental sustainability — was announced at the American Trucking Associations Annual Management Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas.

By optimizing routes to be more efficient and creating more effective ways to decrease empty miles when no product was being hauled, Walgreens fleet decreased its carbon footprint by nearly 15% between 2010 and 2011, according to SmartWay data. The fleet serves all of the company's locations within the continental U.S. More than 3,000 companies participate in the SmartWay program. Of those, Walgreens is one of 40 companies to receive this award.

"Walgreens is always looking for innovative ways to improve performance when it comes to efficiency and environmental sustainability," Walgreens SVP supply chain management Reuben Slone said. "We continue exploring new technologies and strategies to improve fuel efficiency, lower costs and encourage stewardship of the environment."

This year's EPA SmartWay award is the first time awardees were recognized for environmental performance using data based on the results of the program's "second generation" quantification and reporting tools. SmartWay participants are all now using these tools to conduct detailed reporting of their freight operations. This performance benchmarking helps to inform industry and the marketplace on freight operations' energy and environmental efficiency, supply chain carbon and emissions performance, and helps to optimize operations.

"EPA is pleased to recognize this year’s Excellence Award recipients and I commend Walgreens for its leadership in moving goods efficiently and reducing the environmental impact of freight through the second generation SmartWay Transport program," stated Chris Grundler, acting director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "This commitment is helping lead the freight industry to a more sustainable future."