The company announced that for the first time, it has been named a SmartWay Excellence Award winner in two categories simultaneously – as a shipper and a carrier by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This makes Meijer the only SmartWay partner to receive the rare distinction of being recognized in both categories simultaneously. Meijer has been recognized as a SmartWay award recipient in the past – as a shipping partner in 2017 and as a carrier partner in 2007.
"On behalf of the hard-working men and women that make up our logistics team here at Meijer, we are elated to receive such a distinct honor by the EPA's SmartWay," said Tom McCall, Vice President of Logistics for Meijer. "Our team members are driven to constantly monitor and improve the efficiency of our fleet with the mission to minimize our carbon footprint in the communities where we do business."
The SmartWay Excellence Award is the EPA's highest recognition. The award recognizes the top retail and manufacturing carriers and shippers that demonstrate how their logistical operations make a measurable difference in reducing carbon emissions, while also effectively managing fuel costs as they move goods around the country. SmartWay Excellence Awardees lead their industries in improving freight efficiency and contributing to cleaner air within their supply chains.
The news comes shortly after the company received it first-ever recognition as a "best place to work" for disability inclusion.
The company announced that it received a top score of 100 percent on the Disability Equality Index (DEI) and, for the first time, and received the prestigious recognition as being a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion – reserved for companies that achieve a top score. Meijer was among 126 companies honored at the Disability:IN Annual Conference.
The company has also extended its disability accommodations policy to include job candidates. Now candidates have the option to request accommodations during an upcoming interview. The company expanded its team member training curriculum by adding WINDMILLS, described as a high-impact attitudinal training program that integrates disability into the spectrum of diversity awareness. The company also continues to expand its involvement in state vocational rehabilitation programs.
The company operates a fleet of 250 semi-trucks that cover more than 25 million miles each year. In the spirit of relentless improvement, it has also built a best-in-class clean diesel fleet and invested in energy efficiency within its retail operations, including its commitment to retrofit each of its more than 240 retail locations with LED lighting by 2021. The company reported the change will reduce its lighting electrical use by as much as 50 percent annually.
"Today, EPA is honoring top-performing SmartWay Partners with this year's 2018 SmartWay Excellence Award, for their leadership in moving more goods with less fuel," EPA's Assistant Administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum said. "These companies inspire others in the freight sector to invest in innovative technologies and business practices that save fuel, while reducing costs and protecting the environment."
According to the company, they are constantly monitoring the emissions from its refrigerated trailers. All refrigerated units are programmed with "cycle sentry." Cycle-Sentry automatically regulates the engine as refrigeration is needed. This technology enables Meijer to realize a fuel savings of nearly 80 percent, increase the life of its engines, and reduce maintenance costs.