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How Tech Impacts the “E” in ESG Strategy

Apr 25, 2022 | ESG, Innovation + Technology

What are the building blocks of a good company? The answer could depend on the decade and whom you ask. If you asked Walt Disney as he was building his empire, he might have said imagination and creativity. If you asked Henry Ford, he might have said automation and affordability. And if you asked Steve Jobs, he might have advocated for the importance of advanced technology through cloud-based software.

Today, the world looks a little different, and many companies in 2022 are taking an approach to their business plan that highlights an Environmental, Social and Governance strategy. In October of 2020, Werner Enterprises launched a codified approach to sustainability organization wide. Key milestones were unveiled to demonstrate its commitment to a continued focus on environmental, social, and governance aspects of the business.

It’s Werner’s commitment to sustainability and technology that has enabled it to serve as an industry leader in environmental, safety and health initiatives. Technology plays a pivotal role in the industry’s ability to adapt and meet ESG goals, specifically in the area of environmental goals. Werner’s technological advances have proven to be highly successful and has resulted in a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.

“Now more than ever, transportation is in a unique position to make a big impact in terms of reducing carbon emissions and achieving global reduction goals,” said AVP, Sustainability and Sales Operations, Shawntell Kroese. “Additionally, investors, shareholders and associates care about reducing carbon emissions. People want to work for environmentally conscious businesses and customers care very much about doing business with a company that can help them to reach their own ESG goals.”

High-level technological advances, such as Hydrogen fuel and battery-powered electric vehicles, are expected to continue an upward movement in adoption as improvements in technology continue to advance. However, changes to existing technology on a smaller scale will have a huge impact as well. For example, changes to how existing trucks look and whether fleets take advantage of technological features to utilize more biodiesel or how they can integrate the use of solar panels on trucks to keep batteries charged.

“It’s one thing to make changes, but it’s equally important for us to be able to measure what that change means and how it impacts our total footprint,” said Kroese.

Continual improvement remains the focus as Werner implements increased recycling efforts at its Headquarters, encouraging less printing, use of paperless paychecks and electronic logs.

“Our mindset of continuous improvement is in alignment with many in the industry,” said Kroese. “If you look across the landscape of the transportation industry, you might see some of our peer groups also exploring with battery electric vehicles, solar technology. Werner has set aggressive goals in our ESG efforts and are determined to be an industry leader in sustainability, as well as an industry leader in transportation as a whole.”

So, in today’s world, transportation leaders have the opportunity to pull from the building blocks of the best companies from every decade, utilizing the creativity of Walt Disney, the automation and affordability of Henry Ford and the advanced technology through cloud-based software of Steve Jobs to create a greener planet through dedication to technological advances outlined by an ESG strategy.

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