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Our ESG Progress: Where We Are Now & Defining the Future

Jan 3, 2024 | ESG, Werner Blog

We are committed to a sustainable future at Werner and passionate about making an impact on the planet, people and our community. We shared our first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report three years ago, publicly sharing our commitments and being transparent about our goals and progress. Since then, we’ve made significant strides and continue setting aggressive goals as part of our promise to be a socially and environmentally responsible transportation leader.

Werner recently shared its 2023 CSR Report, highlighting our most recent Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) milestones and the steps taken to positively contribute to our planet, community and associates. We also introduced forward-looking goals, reflecting our commitment to continued progress and setting our sights even higher to drive positive change.

Let’s take a high-level look at some of the highlights from the Report and what we’ll be focused on in the coming years.

Environmental: Reducing Our Environmental Impact Through Innovation

By 2035, we aim to drive a 55% reduction of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To achieve this goal, we’re investing in innovation across our organization. Our Innovation Council, founded in 2016, drives this effort, exploring new technology, alternative fuels and fleet enhancements.

Here are a few of the environmental efforts outlined in our CSR Report:

Better, Cleaner Equipment
Today, sixty low-emission diesel trucks produce the same emissions as one truck would in 1988. We are leading an industry-wide effort to invest in new, more energy-efficient transportation options for our customers. These new innovative solutions are critical for making progress toward environmental goals.

More Efficient Aerodynamics
Updating the aerodynamics of trailers can be a great way of reducing drag and improving fuel efficiency. Werner recently tested new technology that enhances trailer aerodynamics and total efficiency by 3-4%. Our CSR Report outlines a few environmental efforts, including the installation of this technology on all new trailer builds.

Alternative Fuels and Technology
We continue to invest in and test alternative fuels and technology, including electric vehicles (EVs), hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, compressed natural gas (CNG) and renewable natural gas (RNG) vehicles, autonomous trucking technology, and renewable diesel fuel. By early 2024, we aim to have ten battery-electric trucks and one hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle in service in Southern California.

Through these and other efforts, we are making steady progress toward our 2035 goal. We’ve seen a 16% reduction in Scope 1 emissions since 2020.

Social: Promoting an Inclusive Culture & Upholding Safety for All

Werner focuses on fostering and empowering an inclusive culture that provides equal opportunities for all. We are committed to embracing the values of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace and encourage the diverse voices and perspectives of our associates, customers and suppliers.

At the same time, we continue to foster our culture of safety, providing the extensive training and solutions needed to keep our drivers and communities safe. In 2023, we achieved this through the following:

Strong Commitment to Safety
We continue to invest in new technology and solutions to promote safety for our professional drivers. Using enhanced forward-facing video capture technology and purchasing 1,000 backup cameras is part of this effort. Our unwavering commitment to safety extends to the mindset of our drivers. Since our founding, 2,192 of our professional drivers have driven one or more million miles, accident free.

An Inclusive Culture
Diversity contributes to our innovation and connection to the many communities Werner services. We are committed to DEI initiatives and continue to make progress toward our goals. One of our goals is to attract, hire and retain diverse talent. As of 2023, female professional drivers represent 16% of our driver workforce, showcasing an impressive ratio compared to the industry average of 8% overall and only 2.7% of over-the-road drivers. Werner also aims to grow and sustain our Associate Resource Groups, which we did over the last two years as we added three new groups. This includes WEPact for parents and caregivers, WEBelieve for those of all faiths and beliefs, and ADAPT for abled and disabled allies to connect.

Efforts to Eradicate Human Trafficking
We understand professional truck drivers are instrumental in identifying and reporting instances of human trafficking. Because of this, we have invested time and effort to ensure our drivers have the knowledge and tools to spot and report potential trafficking situations – in 2023, we doubled human trafficking training hours for our drivers. We also offer a trafficking hotline to professional drivers through our Drive Werner Pro app.

Our Supplier Diversity Program
This year, we proudly announced our revamped, formalized and expanded Supplier Diversity Program. Werner firmly believes that supplier diversity leads to increased innovation, which is why we are improving access to new and diverse suppliers.

Through the above actions and other efforts, we made progress toward our social goals and achieved several key milestones, like expanding anti-trafficking training resources and hours and doubling our volunteer hours.

Governance: Continuing Commitment to Excellence across Governance Practices

Werner upholds transparency, ethics and integrity across our business and operations. As part of this effort, we focus on creating a more diverse Board with complementary skills to make progress toward our long-term goals and strategy.

2023 saw great success in terms of governance commitments, including:

Positioning our Board of Directors for Success
We actively prioritized and recruited new directors for our Board to ensure we have various perspectives and expertise across transportation and logistics, finance, information technology, leadership and academia. Notably, 89% of our Board is independent, and 56% is female. In 2023, we appointed our first Lead Independent Director on the Board.

Cybersecurity Best Practices
We are committed to protecting customer, vendor, associate, driver and business partner data, recognizing that the trust and privacy of these stakeholders are of utmost importance. Werner continually assesses and mitigates risks across our organization and aligns our cybersecurity framework with best practices and industry standards.

Included are cybersecurity protocols and assessments, access control and security assets, employee training and vendor management, transparent communications, and more.

Defining New Goals

We have a culture of innovation at Werner, which means we’re always looking forward and identifying new opportunities to improve our business operations.

From testing new technologies to investing in better reporting solutions, we stay focused on continuous improvement. This mindset means that we understand the value of introducing new forward-looking goals to set our sights higher and ensure we’re making steady progress toward a better business.

We introduced the following new goals in our 2023 CSR Report, reflecting progress made and the need to go further:

2025:

  • Create an updated tiered recognition program for customers and vendors to partner in our efforts to drive human trafficking awareness and prevention.
  • Develop a Sustainable Procurement program and metrics as part of our Supplier Diversity program.
  • Increase transparency of human rights policies and supplier standards by performing a triennial audit on ESG reporting process.

2028:

  • Invest 2.5 million training hours to nurture our associates’ professional skills supporting their career progression.

In 2024, we will continue to invest in ESG efforts as we look to reach and exceed our goals. Our entire business reflects our commitment to operating in a more sustainable way, which we will continue into the future.

To read the full CSR report, click here.

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