As we strive to reduce our environmental footprint, we look across our operations to determine where our efforts to improve efficiency can have the biggest impact. Two areas of particular focus for us are transportation logistics and new construction and building operations.
To support our growing business, our logistics groups worldwide leverage innovation and collaboration to help support the needs of our growing and expanding business. Whether we are using modeling software to improve the efficiency of our store delivery network, working to better utilize trailer space or testing new alternative fuel vehicles, we are constantly striving to improve the ways that we move merchandise through our logistics network.
As we develop new buildings, we keep the focus on environmental sustainability at the forefront.
To learn more about our Logistics and Construction efforts, click on the boxes below.
When we expanded our TJX corporate headquarters in Massachusetts, we integrated sustainability into our design plans for building renovations and new construction. Our two renovated office buildings in Marlborough, Massachusetts, feature LED lighting and occupancy sensors in offices and conference rooms along with many other sustainability features. In 2014, we were honored to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the Green Building Council for both of these buildings. We have also brought additional sustainable design elements to the workplace including 100% compostable utensils, plates and napkins in the cafeterias. As Associates transitioned into these new buildings, we conducted orientation events that highlighted our environmental design features and provided education and training on our new programs.
TJX Canada’s newly built regional headquarters incorporated environmental sustainability features into its construction plan with the goal of achieving LEED certification. In addition to energy and water conservation measures, environmentally sustainable features have been incorporated throughout the building, including responsible interior finishes, workstations, outdoor areas and the cafeteria. The building and grounds also feature special hybrid and electric vehicle charging stations, interior landscaping and a milkweed garden to support the monarch butterfly migration.
As we build new distribution and shipping centers, we are incorporating environmentally sustainable features whenever feasible. In 2015, we received LEED certification for our Jefferson, Georgia, distribution center and for our office space in our Phoenix, Arizona, distribution center. In 2012, TJX received LEED Silver certification for renovations to our Las Vegas, Nevada, distribution center and has recently applied for recertification of this building. Our optimization of energy usage in lighting and HVAC and Energy Star certification were key to receipt of this certification.
Our processing center in Bergheim, Germany, was recognized for its environmental design with a Silver award for Best Sustainable Design by the German Sustainable Building Association. Some of the highlights of our Bergheim facility include increased insulation to walls, roof and floor, energy efficient lighting, rainwater harvesting, solar pre-heated water, and geothermal heating and cooling to the office area. Our processing center in Wroclaw, Poland, also has innovative environmental features.
In the U.S., an important way in which we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) is through expanded use of intermodal1 for shipping merchandise. This is a more fuel efficient alternative that produces fewer emissions than trucking alone. Our use of inbound intermodal to distribution centers has increased from 30% of miles travelled in fiscal year 2008 to 73% of miles travelled in 2015, down slightly from 2014. Additionally, about 23% of our inbound shipment miles between our distribution and shipping centers (i.e., crossdock) were intermodal in 2015, 28% more miles than 2014. In addition to these initiatives, we have opened new service centers that are smaller than distribution centers, located closer to store "clusters" and designed to improve the efficiency of our store delivery process and better serve the needs of our business.
With the growth in our business over the past five years, our shipping miles have increased significantly. Even with an increase in miles shipped, based on our focus on fuel and network efficiencies, we have reduced our CO2 emissions per shipment in that same period. For inbound logistics, we have reduced our CO2 emissions per shipment by 35% since 2010. For outbound logistics, by switching to more efficient modes of transportation and increasing the efficiency of our network through opening service centers, our logistics teams in North America have reduced CO2 emissions per shipment over 21% since 2010!
We are also increasing the use of intermodal for our outbound transportation for store deliveries and in 2015, we significantly increased our outbound intermodal mileage compared to 2014. We intend to use this greener transportation alternative where possible as it reduces both our costs and logistics-related GHG emissions.
Since 2013, we have been working with one of our transport carriers to operate compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks in two major metropolitan markets in the U.S. We have increased the number of trucks used in each of the past three years. We estimate that these trucks produce about 22% less CO2 emissions per mile than diesel trucks and that our initiative is helping to reduce CO2 emissions by over 250 tons annually. That is the equivalent of the annual GHG emissions of 49 cars! We are pleased with the success of this program and continue to test other efficient methods of delivering merchandise to our stores.
In the U.S., we are a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) SmartWay Transport Partnership. This program is a collaborative effort between shippers, truckers and the EPA to find innovative ways to reduce both fuel consumption and GHG emissions.
SmartWay Transport PartnerAs a SmartWay shipper, TJX is committed to using SmartWay-certified transport carriers. We require that all new U.S. carriers are SmartWay certified. In 2014, the most recent year for which we have data available, about 98% of TJX's U.S. land transportation mileage was with SmartWay-certified carriers. To achieve this result, TJX collaborated with carriers to encourage their participation in this program. SmartWay scores are now included in our TJX Logistics Service Provider Questionnaire, which goes out to all prospective U.S. carriers. In Canada, the majority of our carriers are Fleet Smart or SmartWay approved. (Fleet Smart is the Canadian equivalent of the SmartWay program.) In 2014, a significant portion of our Canadian carrier spend was with either Fleet Smart or SmartWay carriers. We are increasing our engagement with our transportation and logistics carriers on environmental sustainability topics and have added environmental sustainability questions into select logistics bids. We are also starting to engage in discussions with our partners during business review meetings.
Our initiatives to reduce fuel consumption extend beyond our transport partners. For example, at our distribution centers in North America, we work to optimize store delivery runs by using logistics software to design more efficient routes. We also utilize various co-loading methods to encourage use of fully loaded trucks as well as alternative methods to load and unload trucks. We now have a variety of delivery techniques, including traditional deliveries, floor-loaded trailers, pallet drops and trailer drops. In Canada, where we have a Drop Trailer program, we have introduced a night time drop program that reduces drive times to stores and maximizes the space used on the truck. This program is another way in which we conserve fuel costs and travel time and decrease the number of trucks on the road. In 2015, an additional 24 stores were added to the night drop program.
1 Intermodal: Transportation involving more than one form of carrier during a single journey.
In the U.K. and Ireland, where we directly manage our logistics, we believe we are at the forefront of innovation in our logistics fleet.
We have a long history of collaborating with our transport providers and incorporate a "green" clause in our agreements with them. The clause covers both trucking and store delivery vehicles and commits both parties to achieving key environmental goals. Together with our partners, we continually work on new ideas to increase fuel efficiency and reduce costs thereby minimizing the impact of our vehicles on the environment. Through these logistics partners, we also continue to work with trailer manufacturers to develop innovative designs for our vehicles. The newer lifting deck trailers built for T.K. Maxx represent the latest in trailer solutions and offer better durability, more cubic space, aerodynamic profiling and a host of safety features. We also encourage our logistics partners to pilot hybrid vehicles.
In addition, we use technology and design to improve logistics efficiency. For example, we are using low-rolling resistance tires on new double deck trailers and introducing driving-style management applications to provide fuel savings. We move a significant amount of our European freight using a large fleet of zero-emission, large electric trucks. We also utilize dual-fueled vehicles (liquefied petroleum gas and diesel) within our fleet to reduce our carbon emissions. We take steps to increase the utilization of our vehicles, and to help manage delivery routes more efficiently, we offer driver education and invest in technologies like vehicle tracking.
We are also proud of our collaboration with other retailers in the U.K. and Ireland for load and trailer sharing, as we share capacity on some of our delivery routes. This collaborative approach can eliminate the need for multiple, parallel trips to the same location, helping to further reduce carbon emissions. In fact, we estimate that this initiative saved us a significant amount of shipping miles in 2015.
Outside of the U.K. and Ireland we are working with a trailer manufacturer to help design a new double deck trailer for use across other parts of Europe. The new trailer is designed to increase cubic capacity and deliver improved aerodynamics. Our goal is to begin testing the trailer in 2016 and 2017.