truck cab, red

Trucking has not traditionally been considered an environmentally friendly industry but a Manitoulin-based trucking company is being recognized for becoming greener. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

The International Organization for Standardization is recognizing a Manitoulin Island trucking company for the steps it has taken to be more environmentally friendly.

The ISO is an independent, non-governmental body that provides certification to companies that reach certain standards to maintain quality, safety and efficiency for products, services and systems.    

Jeff Smith, the parent company’s executive vice-president, said Manitoulin Transport, headquartered in Gore Bay, had to satisfy strict guidelines and standards issued by the Geneva-based organization.

Smith said it took two years during which the company analyzed run-off in the garage, and tracked emissions.

A lot of time and money was put into making tractors and trailers more  aerodynamic, he said, so they burn less fuel.

“Anything  you can do that way to improve your miles per gallon, are going to benefit us financially, but will also reduce our emissions,” Smith said.

Many of the familiar red trucks now sport skirts — at a cost of $2,000 each — that reduce the vehicles’ air resistance 

More reductions planned

There is more to be done, Smoth noted.

“The newest thing we’re looking at is boat tails, so that is a flap that goes out the back of the trailer and those are just becoming legal in Canada ... so we’re looking at those as well, and hoping to get a significant improvement in fuel economy,” he said.

Smith said he’s committed to further reducing carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and particulate matter from the fleet’s exhaust pipes.

“Now we’re looking at all the different ways we can reduce our impacts now that we have our certification and really try to drive improvements through the organization."

The company is also looking at getting certification from the international organization for food handling to make sure items are transported safely without contamination or spoiling.

He said Manitoulin Transport is the first trucking company in Canada to be honoured for its green practices.