Manufacturing, Sustainability, and Travel & Tourism

Appliance maker wins EPA award for shipping

November 13, 2015
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Whirlpool fridge
Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool is a global maker of household appliances, including refrigerators. Photo via

An appliance maker has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for demonstrating its commitment to the environment in its freight supply-chain practices.

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool was one of only 11 companies recognized this year by the EPA with a SmartWay Excellence Award.

The company was recognized in the large-shipper category, which represents companies that move goods more than 500-million miles annually.

SmartWay awards

The SmartWay awards recognize companies as industry leaders in “supply-chain environmental performance and energy efficiency.”

Award winners were selected based on their demonstration of effective leadership through effective collaboration, advanced technology and operational practices, robust SmartWay data validation and reporting, communication and public outreach and implementation of sustainability practices in local communities.

The SmartWay Excellence Awards program recognizes about one percent of the more than 3,000 top EPA freight supply-chain partners annually.

Jim Keppler, VP of Whirlpool's integrated supply chain and quality organization, said the company is “very proud” to receive the “prestigious” award from the EPA.

“It acknowledges our commitment to the environment and our efforts to ship our products as environmentally efficient as possible,” Keppler said.

Whirlpool requires contracted carriers to be SmartWay certified. Currently, 99.86 percent of its North American shipments are moved with SmartWay carriers.

In 2014, Whirlpool saved 1.5-million gallons of diesel fuel by working with high-efficient carriers, which equated to 15,590 metric tons of CO2 emissions reductions.

Awards ceremony

The 2015 SmartWay Excellence Awards were presented last month in Ann Arbor at the National Vehicle & Fuel Emissions Laboratory.

"Through their environmental leadership in the greener-goods movement, each of these companies is demonstrating its commitment to our shared goal of a healthier, more sustainable future for the communities and families we serve,” said Chris Grundler, director, EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality.

The SmartWay program was launched in 2004, with an aim of accelerating advanced fuel-efficient technologies and operational practices in the freight supply chain, while helping partners save fuel, lower costs and reduce negative environmental impacts.  

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