Prepared by: Colorado State University
This report provides an overview of incentives and subsidies provided by different countries for greening freight transportation supply chains. It includes: a review of what is currently being done in North America to green freight transportation supply chains; it identifies North America’s challenges in this regard and how governments in other countries have overcome similar challenges; and, it summarizes international initiatives/best practices and possible ways to implement them. The research shows there are currently no strong, unified global efforts towards greening freight transportation across countries or across transportation modes, although the Smart Freight Centre (a global non-profit organization dedicated to removing market barriers and encouraging the uptake of green transportation programs) is working globally to unify greenhouse gas (GHG) freight emissions reporting. Green freight efforts tend to be voluntary in nature and fragmented around country and modal lines, although numerous efforts to provide a more holistic approach are underway. Such programs are split among government, the private sector, and NGOs, and their activities vary significantly. Moreover, there are not many organizations or programs that offer incentives for companies participating in greening freight transportation initiaives, and even fewer that offer any type of subsidy. The research found that the most comprehensive green freight program is SmartWay, a transportation collaboration designed to help businesses reduce fuel costs while transporting goods in the cleanest and most efficient way possible. Due to the progress they have made and the name recognition SmartWay carries in the transportation industry, the authors recommend that North America work with and rely on SmartWay to drive best practices in greening freight transportation. To accomplish this, the authors further recommend the Canadian government help increase participation in SmartWay by promoting it within the industry and offering incentives to join. Finally, they encourage the federal and provincial governments to continually update and share best practices among themselves and with other countries in order to advance the greening of freight transportation.