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Sustainability - 2015 Annual Report on Sustainability

PITT OHIO continues to leverage a People, Planet, and Profit approach to grow in a way that is sustainable for the future.  We see sustainability as a way tocreate a competitive advantage in the transportation marketplace. Transportation of goods is energy intensive, but it’s a vital part of our economy. Asset-based carriers become more efficient when they are able to grow their business while reducing their carbon emissions on a per shipment basis. Increased sustainability in transportation is synonymous with increased efficiency and productivity. In 2015 PITT OHIO posted shipment growth of 4.3% and the Company succeeded in reducing its carbon emissions by 1.2% per shipment. PITT OHIO achieved these results by making significant capital investments in energy efficient facilities, including our LEED certified terminal in Pittsburgh, and by adding new equipment to replace aging and energy inefficient equipment.

People drive the success of our business. We are proud of our strong 98% retention rate among our employees.  PITT OHIO was voted a Top Workplace in Pittsburgh PA for the fifth year in a row, taking the top honor in 2015.  Through our continued growth, PITT OHIO added approximately 70 new jobs to the economy and almost 1/3 of these were for driver positions.

Miles Per Gallon

Our MPG performance has the largest impact to our carbon output. In 2014 the polar vortex that hit much of North America had an impact on our MPG performance, despite investment in new power equipment and continued driver performance training and reporting. In 2015, our average MPG went down by 1.4% due to another cold winter and increased speed tolerances on our vehicles. The increase in the speed governors was in response to the increased speed limits on many highways our trucks travel. While we understand the impact this has to our fuel usage and carbon emissions, the safety of our drivers on America’s highways preceded those concerns.

We increased our straight truck fleet by 6.5%, our tractors by 3%, and almost tripled the number of CNG vehicles. 
We also retired approximately 10% of the fleet and replaced it with new, more carbon-efficient equipment.

Electricity

Our total kilowatt hours increased 5.4% year-over-year directly due to investment of an addition 78,000 square footage to our properties. Where we did not increase building sizes, our kilowatts went down by 3.4% year-over-year. Where we did increase square footage, our kWh per square foot improved by 31%! In addition, many of these changes also improved our water usage. Our water usage at these four expanded facilities actually went down by 35% and improved our overall company water consumption by 10%.

PITT OHIO is committed to investing in our business to grow in the long term. These building additions, several of which are LEED certified, are important to growing our business capacity while running more efficiently than ever.

The newly constructed complex in Cincinnati covers 40,000 square feet and includes 71 dock doors. Of the materials used in construction, approximately 30+% were from recycled products and 40% of the materials were harvested, extracted or assembled local to the region. The building energy systems were commissioned by a third party engineer to maximize their efficiency and water efficient toilets and sinks were installed.

PITT OHIO relocated its Norristown, PA terminal to a new facility, nearly 30% larger than its previous location. Now covering over 27,000 square feet, and including 66 dock doors, the Norristown facility is equipped to align with PITT OHIO’s commitment to a sustainable culture, and includes many updated energy efficient features.

Carbon output

In 2015 overall carbon emissions increased by 3.1%.  However, we also grew the business by 4.3% (in terms of number of shipments).  As a result the "normalized" carbon emissions per shipment improved by another 1.2%.  This is a net carbon emission savings of 73 metric tons, equivalent to more than 15 passenger cars driven for 1 year!  Over the past 4 years, our carbon emission per shipment has improved by 4%.

Over the past 2 years we also reduced our paper per shipment by 3.5% since 2014.  That’s equivalent to saving 75 trees.

People

We continue to have one of the highest retention rates not only in transportation, but for a business overall. Retention is a critical factor to a business keeping costs low and customer service high by keeping experienced employees on staff. According to the Wall Street Journal, "High employee turnover costs business owners in time and productivity."

Last year we reported our results from our employee engagement survey.  Our survey results indicated that 77% of PITT OHIO employees are highly engaged.  We are proud that our results compare favorably with best in class employers, but it was important that we use the results from these surveys to develop action items that improve our organization.  An example of these actions is "Coffee with the Boss" and "Soda with the Supervisor" sessions we implemented at all of our terminal locations in order to give employees even more interaction with their supervisors to build even stronger teams.  We look forward to another employee engagement survey in the near future in order to track our results with these programs over time.

Another way PITT OHIO supports employees is through monthly safety, health, and wellness topics.  Our Safety and Wellness teams post, promote, and communicate best practices throughout our 22 locations on a variety of topics that employees can use both at work and at home.

Being a good community member is a very important part of the PITT OHIO culture. Our employees contributed over $80,000 through both payroll deduction and participation in many events in 2015.  These events included our Bowl-a-Thon and Polar Plunge in Pittsburgh, as well as many terminal events.

Awards and Recognition

  • American Trucking Associations President’s Trophy for Best Overall Safety Program (6th win)
  • 2015 Supply & Demand Chain Green Award recipient
  • Pittsburgh’s Top Workplace as surveyed by employees through WorkplaceDynamics, LLP and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Owner Chuck Hammel recognized as Top Leader for the second time in the WorkplaceDynamics Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Top Workplace employee survey.
  • 2015 Logistics Management’s Quest For Quality Award
  • In addition to the new Pittsburgh terminal, we also upgraded our facilities in Norristown, Chicago, and Cincinnati, which includes a LEED certified vehicle maintenance shop.

Financial Growth and Stability

Our patent-pending carbon calculator measures our impact on the environment, but also enables us to understand carbon output at a shipment and customer level.  In 2014 we worked on a self-service carbon calculator that customers can use to understand their carbon emissions when shipping with PITT OHIO.

In addition, we have partnered with CarbonFund.org to provide customers with a means to offset their carbon emissions through shipping, whether with PITT OHIO or another carrier.  We look forward to presenting these new tools to our customers in early 2015.  We also will continue work on normalizing our carbon and mpg data with the temperature to improve the accuracy and better understand the impact of our sustainable programs on our emissions.

2016 Sustainability Outlook

PITT OHIO is focusing on the following areas to further develop its sustainability program:

  1. New LEED certified operations facility outside of Cleveland, OH.
  2. Continue to invest in new equipment, bringing in more fuel efficient vehicles.
  3. Further engage customers on sustainability; work with our customers to develop specific customer carbon reports.
  4. Develop next level measurements that normalize carbon due to weather or increased building square footage.
  5. Research electronic file storage to reduce paper usage and building space needed.
  6. Start research into datacenter renovation utilizing SmartRow technologies for more efficient power and cooling and lessening overall footprint.
  7. Build on our SmartWay membership by finding new, actionable metrics that engage management, customers, the community, and employees, and that measure individual and team success.

For more information about PITT OHIO’s sustainability program, please contact Candi Cybator, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations.

For more information please visit our Sustainability section on our website.