Continental Tire North America has surpassed its goal of meeting the standards set out by the EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership in its first year of participation.

Under the shipper category, Continental originally set out to achieve a score of at least 0.95 within three years of joining, but found out that it reached 1.14 out of a maximum 1.25 during this first year. SmartWay measures how well shippers work to reduce their environmental impact using the Freight Logistics Environmental and Energy Tracking (FLEET) Performance Model. This year, Continental has shipped more than 24 million tires to NAFTA countries.

"Exceeding our compliance goal with the SmartWay Transport Partnership means that Continental is doing its part to reduce air pollution and the environmental impacts from our supply chain operations," said Dominique Lacroix, director of supply chain operations. "We made it a consideration of the carrier selection process that fleets operate as SmartWay Transport Carriers when considering bids, and encouraged carriers within our existing base who were not already a part of the SmartWay program to join."

Continental's largest carrier, Old Dominion Freight Line, Thomasville, N.C., joined SmartWay as a transport carrier in 2008.

The SmartWay Transport Partnership aims to achieve diesel savings between 3.3 and 6.6 billion gallons per year by 2012, which is the equivalent of removing 12 million passenger cars from the road. In order to achieve this reduction, SmartWay Transport Carriers pledge to implement idle reduction strategies, improve aerodynamics, use advanced freight logistics practices, reduce vehicle and equipment weights, implement driver training and use SmartWay-verified fuel efficient technologies including wide base and low rolling resistant tires.

In addition to being a shipper partner, Continental is a manufacturer of SmartWay-verified low rolling resistance tires, including the HSL2 steer tire, the HDL Eco Plus drive tire and the HTL Eco Plus trailer tire. The company recently submitted its new HTL1 super single trailer tire for inclusion on the list of low rolling resistance tires and is awaiting official verification.