Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Arizona recently received a Sustainable Options/Corporate Sustainability award from Valley Metro, the public transportation agency which provides transit services throughout the Phoenix, AZ, metropolitan area.
This award is part of the agency’s annual Clean Air Campaign recognition program.
The award recognizes efforts by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits to reduce emissions in its delivery fleet by launching a pilot program to test two electric vehicles in the market. The pilot program was conducted over a six-month period, from March through August 2021. The results included a positive return on the environment, increased driver enthusiasm around sustainability and the potential to realize 14 percent cost savings above the status quo, the company reports.
This Arizona-based pilot program was initiated by members of the company’s Exceptional Leaders Program, working with the Arizona operations team. The Exceptional Leaders Program is Southern Glazer’s leadership development program designed to develop and prepare people for increased leadership responsibilities.
“Incorporating sustainable technology and ideas into everyday processes is extremely important to us at Southern Glazer’s,” says Mark Koslow, Vice President of Operations for Southern Glazer’s in Arizona. “We are constantly exploring and evaluating ways to make our business more environmentally-friendly and sustainable. In this particular case, testing electric vehicles into our fleet worked out so well that the Company is planning to expand the number of these vehicles in our fleet in the future, reducing our carbon footprint while continuing to deliver superior service to our customers.”
The Clean Air Campaign awards are presented to various businesses and agencies throughout the Phoenix metro area each year by Valley Metro. The Sustainable Options/Corporate Sustainability award specifically recognizes companies that have incorporated green business practices into their core strategic and operational activities including energy and/or water efficiency and conservation, emission reduction programs, product and process design for the environment, sustainable sourcing strategies, waste minimization, byproduct utilization, building design and other green initiatives.
“I want to recognize the ingenuity of Mark Koslow at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits (SGWS) for developing sustainability programs that demonstrate both corporate and community responsibility,” says Scott Smith, Valley Metro CEO. “We commend SGWS, Ryder, and Lightning eMotors for their dedication to reduce emissions in our growing metropolitan region. It’s this type of leadership that sets the pace for others to follow.”
The trucks, which were built by Lightning eMotors, were leased to Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits through the COOP by Ryder asset sharing platform. Created by Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R), COOP by Ryder is a leading truck and trailer sharing platform that connects fleet owners with idle vehicles to businesses in need of rental vehicles.
“We were excited to team up with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits on this sustainability project,” says Romain Rousseau, General Manager for COOP by Ryder. “Both companies share a deep commitment to expanding the use of more sustainable transportation technologies to help businesses remain efficient and effective while reducing their carbon emissions.”