Ryan Schuchard, Manager, Climate and Energy, BSR
BSR’s Future of Fuels initiative improves the sustainability of transportation fuel by promoting the best investments and identifying technologies, practices, and pathways that have the greatest positive net impacts. As part of this, we have led a series of stakeholder forums in 2013, bringing together practitioners from different sectors to explore issues and opportunities across the range of fuels.
Our most recent forum, which built on earlier events that focused on fuels individually (summaries here and here), explored how to transform the system as a whole. To do this, we examined four levers for change: efficiency, technology, supply chain, and policy. These are key areas where fleet owners, their value chain partners, and civil-society groups can work together to create more sustainable fuel and infrastructure.
At the forum, speakers from fleet owners to research organizations, including Walmart, Volvo, the International Council on Clean Transportation, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discussed their views on the different levers. Participants then joined working sessions to discuss the role of business in addressing each of the four levers, as well as obstacles and areas for collaboration.
At the end of the day, participants identified new opportunities for business:
- Efficiency: Enhance collaboration among companies to identify and promote best practices and metrics for fuel efficiency, support higher efficiency standards, and share the cost of researching, developing, and deploying more efficient vehicles and systems.
- Technology: Integrate low-carbon fuels and vehicles available today into fleets as much as possible (provided they are technically appropriate for the applications), more aggressively invest in research and demonstration technologies (collaboratively when possible), and share information about how to overcome performance and operational obstacles with the actual use of modern fuel and vehicle systems.
- Supply chain: Increase collaboration among companies and civil society to identifying obstacles and opportunities around the lifecycle impacts of fuel, and support the development of low-carbon fuel and production standards, such as biofuels or hydraulic fracturing standards in key U.S. states.
- Policy: Create a more coherent business voice that promotes carbon-reducing policies that are performance-oriented and technology-neutral, that promote harmonized state- and federal- level policies, and that help business play a positive role in the other three levers (efficiency, technology, and supply chain).
Input from the forum will inform a roadmap brief that BSR will develop and discuss at the BSR Conference 2013, taking place November 5-8 in San Francisco.