Sustain Your Dairy
Dairy Today: Sustain Your Dairy
A closer look at how dairies are using sustainable practices that are not only economically viable but based on science, common sense and respect for the world around them.
Smarter Fleet, Smaller Footprint
May 05, 2014
A major California milk-hauling company has updated its fleet with longer-lasting, lower-emitting trucks designed to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution.
Roughly 2,100 tanker loads of milk leave California family dairy farms every day and make their way to food processing plants throughout the state. Ruan Transportation, a commercial food-grade hauling company, moves much of that milk safely, efficiently and sustainably.
"Ruan is responsible for transporting about 30% of the milk produced in our state," says Jim Mulvenna, senior vice president and general manager of Ruan’s Dairy and Bulk Food Transport Division. "It’s no secret that dairy families have made great advancements in sustainability on the farm. But what folks may not know is that their commitment to sustainability extends beyond the farm gate and we’re proud of the contributions we’re making to improve the overall sustainability footprint of the dairy community."
Ruan has a long and successful history of developing environmentally friendly technologies and practices. This includes an updated fleet of longer-lasting, lower-emitting trucks designed to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution.
Key to Ruan’s sustainability success is the principle of achieving more with less. Today, Ruan hauls nearly 10 percent more milk with 261,700 fewer gallons of fuel than it did in 2009.
"Improved efficiency in transporting milk directly translates to reducing carbon from the air," Mulvenna says. "Fewer trucks on the road and fewer miles traveled by those trucks mean we burn less fossil-based fuel."
Dedicated to improvement, Ruan isn’t resting on its laurels.
As co-chair of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s FLEET-SMART project, Ruan is helping to develop dairy-specific transportation guidelines. These are designed to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 165,000 metric tons annually, potentially saving 16.5 million gallons of diesel fuel each year.
Ruan continues to do its part for the environment, including investing in research and development of alternative fuels for their trucks, such as compressed natural gas and biodiesel.
"With sustainable innovations constantly emerging, the future is exciting," says Mulvenna. "Some of our trucks already run on compressed natural gas and soon, trucks will run on cow biogas generated on the same farms where we pick-up milk."
Learn more about the sustainability efforts of California’s dairy industry at www.DairyCares.com.