Con-way Inc. launched a sustainability program in 2008 with two primary goals — to become a better
steward of the environment, and strengthen the bottom line while maintaining competitive advantage.
The program includes the entire organization: Con-way Freight, Con-way Truckload, Menlo Worldwide
Logistics, Road Systems Inc. and Con-way’s administrative/corporate offices.
The company conducted a sustainability evaluation for every process in the organization, and aligned
its sustainability goals to support the three “P’s” — People, Planet and Profit —
concentrating on four areas:
• Energy conservation: By constantly evaluating ways to reduce fuel consumption, the company
implements small changes that yield impressive fuel savings
• Reducing waste: Employees are encouraged to identify areas where energy or waste can be reduced
or eliminated, such as turning off computers, installing energy-efficient lighting and replacing
paper reports with online versions
• Recycling: All operating locations have recycling programs, which include items ranging from
paper to computer monitors to scrap metal
• Procurement: Vendors must meet minimum sustainability goals to be considered, such as the
ability to offer paperless transactions and the recyclable content of packing materials
By narrowing its focus to these specific categories, Con-way is better able to target its efforts
and institute various initiatives in a meaningful and measurable manner.
Con-way’s core values are integrity, commitment and excellence. The company is dedicated to
sustainable environmental practices and protecting natural resources, which speaks to Con-way’s
commitment and integrity as it seeks to make business decisions that have a positive impact on the
organization, its employees and customers, and the environment.
The company embraces sustainability efforts as a catalyst for streamlining processes and eliminating
wasteful practices, which speaks to the values of commitment and excellence. Con-way is a proponent
of the Lean philosophy and views implementing sustainable business practices to lessen the
company’s impact on the environment as an extension of Lean, which leads to excellence.
By adopting a proactive approach to sustainability, Con-way is also on the forefront of changing
customer needs as shippers are seeking vendors with sustainable practices already in place. The more
Con-way demonstrates that its practices reduce carbon emissions for its operations, the more a
shipper’s carbon footprint is also reduced, positioning Con-way as a vendor of choice.
In addition to meeting customer needs, Con-way’s objective with the program is to instill
awareness in its workforce of sustainability as a fundamental corporate process, focused on the
company’s commitment to continuous improvement and adoption of sustainable business practices that
remove costs and waste while simultaneously reducing environmental impact.
By reducing its carbon footprint and choosing vendors with sustainable practices, Con-way is acting
in an environmentally responsible manner and providing community and industry leadership.
The company encourages employees to shape sustainable policies and embrace sustainability in their
own lives as well, such as commuting via alternate means.
Con-way persuades other transportation companies to reduce carbon emissions by promoting EPA’s
SmartWay Transport Partnership program. Menlo Worldwide Logistics has recruited more than 50
carriers to join the program and has seen an increase in the number of SmartWay carriers it utilizes
by more than 20 percent.
Through its fleet speed reduction, operating network redesign and equipment re-specification work,
Con-way Freight and Con-way Truckload reduced the amount of diesel fuel consumed annually by 11.1
million gallons, preventing nearly 250 million pounds of carbon emissions from being introduced into
Con-way demonstrates that socially responsible environmental practices can co-exist with, and
complement, the economics of the freight transportation and logistics business. A commitment to
sustainability as a business priority can have a positive impact on both the company and every
entity it touches. Con-way hopes to inspire other businesses, in the transportation industry and
beyond, to become better stewards of the environment by embracing sustainability as a fundamental
Con-way established an employee steering committee, including members from each business unit, to
evaluate sustainability initiatives. The group is headed by Con-way’s Vice President, Government
Relations and Public Affairs, a veteran freight transportation executive responsible for the
company’s strategies and programs related to legislative, regulatory, public policy and corporate
sustainability. All Con-way employees are encouraged to submit ideas regarding sustainable
The company next focused on identifying, developing and implementing meaningful and effective
carbon-reduction measures. The first step was examining Con-way’s operational footprint and the
types of energy or carbon-related products consumed. Knowing how much carbon is generated from
specific activities provided a roadmap for the company to determine the most cost-effective and
impactful ways to reduce its carbon footprint.
The committee then evaluated what emission levels were necessary to do business as a transportation
and logistics company, and what could be reduced or eliminated. Finally, any potential initiatives
were weighed against the original focus areas — the three “P’s” of People, Planet and Profit
— to determine if they tracked with the overall strategy before being implemented.
While many major programs, such as speed reductions, have already taken place, the process of
evaluating and implementing other actions that contribute to Con-way’s sustainability goals is an
In addition to Con-way Freight, Con-way Truckload and Menlo Worldwide Logistics receiving EPA’s
SmartWay Environmental Excellence Award, Con-way has implemented or delivered the following
• Fleet speed governors reduced: 65 to 62 mph
• Annual diesel fuel savings: 3,594,377 gallons
• Annual carbon emissions reduction: 79.8 million pounds
• Idling monitors set to three minutes
• Fleet speed governors reduced: 70 to 65 mph
• Annual diesel fuel savings: 2,575,475 gallons
• Annual carbon emissions reduction: 57.2 million pounds
• Tractors converted to single wide-base tires; improved fuel economy by .2 mpg
Menlo Worldwide Logistics
• 85 percent of network miles run by SmartWay-approved carriers, with 75 percent carrier
• Implemented no-idling policy at distribution centers
• Launched the first LEED-certified warehouse
Road Systems Inc.
• Reduced Con-way Freight 28-foot trailer weight by 581 pounds
• Recycled 80 percent of old trailers, eliminating 7,424 pounds of waste per trailer
• Developed program to recycle virtually all rebuilt trailer components, keeping large amounts of
scrap metal out of landfills
Con-way’s administrative and IT campus
• Recycled heat energy from computer operations to use as a heating source
• Reduced hard-copy communications associated with e-mails and company publications
• Established a program to reward and measure recycling activities
• Promoted eco-friendly commuting alternatives
Con-way Truckload is the first in the industry to convert its tractor fleet to single wide-base
tires, resulting in a savings of 0.2 miles per gallon. In 2008, it replaced 843 of its dual-tire
trailers with trailers with single wide-base low-rolling-resistance tires and so far nearly half of
its trailers have been converted. The company plans to convert an additional 2,143 trailers next
year, bringing the total percentage to 75 percent by the end of 2010. Once all trailers are
converted, Con-way Truckload anticipates an additional three-tenths of a mile per gallon in fuel
In November 2008, Con-way Freight underwent a complete network reengineering and optimization, which
included closing 40 service centers nationwide. The restructuring eliminated 124,000 miles traveled
per day, conserving 4.9 million gallons of fuel annually and reducing carbon emissions by 108.8
million pounds annually.
Menlo Worldwide Logistics launched its first LEED-certified warehouse in 2008, and continues to
pursue LEED-qualified facilities for new start-up activity.
Con-way Truckload and Road Systems Inc. recently formed a partnership with a third-party design
company to collaborate on developing and implementing new trailer design technologies to
significantly reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Con-way is hopeful that
technology developed from the partnership will lead to more fuel-efficient trailers to be utilized
Con-way will continue to make informed business decisions about sustainability to positively affect
the company, its operations, employees and customers, while reducing its carbon footprint and
helping to improve the environment.
• Continue to participate in and advocate for EPA’s SmartWay program
• Continue to solicit ideas from employees for waste reduction, recycling, reduced energy use and
• Further collaboration with truck designers and manufacturers to refine truck and trailer
specifications to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency
• Continue to pursue re-lamping opportunities, replacing existing lighting with energy-efficient
• Incorporate LEED specifications where applicable in the design and construction of new buildings
and expansion and modernization of existing buildings
• Continue to refine network design and fleet operations at both Con-way Freight and Con-way
Truckload to gain efficiencies, reduce miles traveled and fuel consumed
• Partner with an outside firm to identify and test potential carbon calculator tools; participate
in ongoing discussions with an international consortium of academics to define standards, approaches
and metrics for a common carbon calculator that could be applied across multiple industries
• At Menlo, continue engaging with customers to redesign supply chain, transportation and
warehouse networks to consume less energy, transport freight across fewer miles and maximize
Con-way continuously communicates with employees and customers on sustainability programs and
policies since it is an integral component of company operations.
Customers wanting to reduce their carbon footprint often seek service partners with formalized
sustainability programs and proven results. Some companies require detailed information on the
supplier’s sustainability programs as a prerequisite to being selected as a bidder. By choosing
Con-way, customers can work with a company with established sustainability practices and measurable
Con-way leverages its participation in EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership program to educate its
drivers, sales force, customers and others in the industry on the importance of carbon emissions
reductions and the impact of adopting SmartWay practices.
The company seeks out suppliers that can support its sustainability mission. Vendors receive
information about Con-way’s sustainability criteria and how their products or services are
expected to support the sustainability mission and contribute to improvement goals.
Con-way also engages employees to be stakeholders in the success of its efforts by encouraging them
to make suggestions on waste reduction, recycling and energy conservation. Con-way Truckload held an
employee brainstorming session to determine ways to reduce tractor and trailer weight. The result
— specification changes that reduced each truck’s weight by more than 670 pounds, saving 11,400
gallons of fuel annually.
Sustainability initiatives are communicated internally and externally through a variety of channels
and to multiple audiences.
Con-way highlights its sustainability activities through the media and promotes its activities
through participation in award and recognition programs. The company communicates regularly with
employees focusing on employee initiative and leadership.
Con-way’s green efforts are shared by company executives through speaking engagements at
sustainability conferences, including:
• eyefortransport 4th Green Transportation and Logistics Summit
• The International SmartWay Transportation Summit
• American Trucking Associations’ Annual Management Conference
• The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference
• The Japan Industrial Transportation Institute – Washington D.C. Sustainability Conference
Company executives participated in more than 30 media interviews about the SmartWay program and the
company’s environmental efforts. Outlets include the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time.
Sustainability updates are included in employee communications with a focus on employee initiative
and leadership. At Con-way Freight, there are weekly driver updates to reinforce effective operating
techniques for maximum fuel conservation. Con-way Truckload holds monthly safety meetings to
continue driver education on fuel efficiency and other green issues. Both have found proactive
driver training critical in improving fuel efficiencies.