Environmental Sustainability

Pursuing A Healthier Planet 

Addressing important environmental issues is key to ArcBest’s strategy — we’re taking actions to help create a healthier workplace, logistics industry and world. With a large focus on our equipment and facilities, we’re committed to identifying ways we can operate more sustainably and working toward adopting environmentally sustainable practices, tracking our progress and reporting on our performance. Read more about our recent efforts in environmental stewardship throughout our 2021 ArcBest ESG Report.  

Environmental Highlights 

Carbon Emissions

Carbon emissions disclosure is important to our customers as they strive to improve their environmental footprint. To meet these needs, and as part of ArcBest’s key strategy to address sustainability issues, we believe transparency is critical. For the first time in company history, we have disclosed our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions data in our 2021 ESG report.    

Progress throughout 2021 included collecting Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions and inputting it into our new ESG dashboard — developed in collaboration with ArcBest Technologies. Scope 1 emissions are direct greenhouse gases (GHG) we emit through operating owned equipment and assets. Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHGs we emit through electricity use and other energy use at our facilities. Capturing this data into our ESG dashboard enables us to benchmark performance more efficiently, identify areas of improvement and monitor progress. This project is ongoing with plans to collect Scope 3 emissions in future phases.    

We’re also committing to increased transparency through reporting to global sustainability-rating organizations, including the CDP and EcoVadis, and through aligning our disclosure to critical ESG frameworks such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Standards.   

Efficient Equipment  

For nearly 50 years, ArcBest has been operating equipment with efficiency in mind. We regularly replace older trucks with newer, cleaner trucks to help ABF Freight maintain a sustainable fleet and improve our carbon footprint. We also use low-rolling-resistance tires on many ABF trucks to reduce energy loss and improve fuel efficiency. The average age of ABF road tractors is 18 months, and city power units average six years.  

A breakdown of our journey to operate more efficient equipment:  

  • 1976—Began voluntarily limiting truck speeds to conserve fuel and reduce emissions  
  • 1994—Began purchasing equipment with computerized engine shutoffs to reduce idling, minimize fuel consumption and limit emissions   
  • 2008—Started buying new trucks with diesel particular filters (DPF), which is an exhaust aftertreatment device that traps particulate matter such as soot and ash to help improve fuel economy  
  • 2010—Started buying DPF trucks equipped with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), which reduces nitrogen oxide gases and air pollution  
  • 2019—Recognized an even greater need to operate more sustainable equipment and increased purchasing to replace older models with newer, cleaner trucks to reduce net emissions further (began our official ESG journey) 
  • 2020—Purchased new single-axle day-cab tractors and new yard tractors to replace older, less environmentally-friendly models 
  • 2021—Purchased several new Class 8 road tractors, Class 6 straight trucks, pup trailers and yard tractors to replace older models and conducted a demo of an electric yard tractor  
  • Present-day—Investing in more equipment to upgrade our fleet with the latest EPA engines and aerodynamics, purchasing two electric forklifts to replace two propane forklifts based on the successful testing of the equipment in 2021, and buying four electric yard tractors and two electric Class 6 straight trucks to replace diesel-burning equipment  


Sustainable Facilities 

With more than 250 campuses and service centers, we owe it to the environment to build and upgrade our facilities responsibly. We finished construction on our headquarters in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 2017 and received LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2018. In December 2021, we completed renovations on our second campus in Fort Smith, upgrading the building with more efficient features. 

We also began construction on a shared 100,000 square-foot building in Chicago, Illinois, for our MoLo employees, who will use 91,000 square feet of the building’s space. The building is LEED Gold certified and includes environmental features such as a green roof, smart lighting and energy-efficient HVAC units.  

At our ABF Freight service centers, we follow the appropriate recycling, refurbishing and disposal procedures to avoid pollution. We’re also executing renovations at hundreds of our service centers, implementing green initiatives into the design.  

ArcBest Campuses

Some of the environmental features implemented at our Fort Smith campuses:  

  • Low e-coated glass windows with a high UV rating to help reduce summertime heat (headquarters only)   
  • Air-cooled chillers that cool the building more efficiently than air ducts (headquarters only)   
  • Water-cooled chillers that cool the building more efficiently than air ducts (second Fort Smith campus only)    
  • Rooftop DOAS (Direct Outside Air Systems) Units that pretreat air before it enters the building (headquarters only)   
  • enVerid Air Purifiers that remove CO2 and other harmful carbons from the air before it enters the building (second Fort Smith campus only)   
  • LED lights, light sensors, ambient lighting and energy recovery wheels to reduce energy consumption   
  • Water-bottle filling stations to encourage reusable drinkware   
  • Recycling stations   
  • Restrooms with low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water usage   
  • Negatively charged carpet fiber that repels stains to eliminate the need to use chemicals when cleaning   
  • Clean, pure water rather than soaps, detergents and chemicals is used to clean windows   
  • Biodegradable cleaning products and paper towels made from recycled materials are used 
  • Recyclable paper products in all break areas while also encouraging employees to use reusable food containers and utensils   
  • Native landscaping to minimize irrigation and fertilization 


ABF Freight Service Centers

Some of the active projects and procedures at our service centers:

  • Upgrading to LED lighting systems  
  • Adding solar panels to the new construction of our Fort Wayne, Indiana, service center and assessing solar panels for our San Bernardino, California, service center  
  • Maintaining stormwater permits or No Exposure Certifications from the EPA that comply with the Clean Water Act to prevent water pollution   
  • Installing and maintaining fuel storage tanks that comply with federal, state and local regulations to protect water sources 
  • Recycling oil, antifreeze and cleaning solutions  
  • Returning used engine batteries to the manufacturer  
  • Using retread tires  

 

Awards and Partnerships

The awards and recognitions we’ve received, and the partnerships we’ve built, further demonstrate our commitment to creating a cleaner world.  

  • EcoVadis Bronze medal rating for sustainability (2021) 
  • EPA SmartWay Excellence Award (2014, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021) 
  • Green 75 (G75) Supply Chain Partner (2019) 
  • SmartWay High Performer recognition for ABF Freight (2019) 
  • LEED Silver certified (ArcBest headquarters 2018) and LEED Gold certified (shared MoLo building 2021) by the U.S. Green Council  
  • Partner of the EPA’s SmartWay Program since 2006