ArcBest posts second annual ESG report, pledges to work with ISS on ‘targets’

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 732 views 

Fort Smith-based ArcBest has published its second annual Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) report, with the trucking and logistics company noting it is working with Institutional Shareholder Services to analyze its “measurable targets.”

The 117-page report included numerous ESG goals, highlighted COVID-19 response actions and noted the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. ArcBest, which has a market capitalization of $1.986 billion and is the parent company of less-than-truckload carrier ABF Freight, has almost 14,000 employees and operates at 250 campuses and service centers.

“To continue to extend our ESG progress, we became a participant of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) at the beginning of 2020. We work with EcoVadis to understand our ESG performance in the following categories: environment, labor and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement,” ArcBest noted in the report. “We’re also collaborating with Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) to conduct a materiality assessment that will help us more effectively define and prioritize our ESG initiatives. The analysis is projected to be completed by the end of 2021, and we will disclose the results and the measurable targets in our 2021 ESG report next year.”

The UNGC provides companies “17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) that cover climate
change, environmental degradation, inequality, poverty, peace and justice,” according to ArcBest.

Environmental sustainability efforts noted by ArcBest include the purchase of 450 single-axle, day-cab tractors and 450 road tractors that have lower emissions than older vehicles. The company also began a pilot project with an electric battery facility in its Kansas City distribution center. The company also claimed that its logistics efforts are focused on making shipments more efficient for customers, which in turn reduces emissions.

“Our goal is to decrease the number of trips required to deliver shipments from origin to destination. Benefits include lowering fuel consumption, minimizing air pollution and carbon emissions, and conserving energy. Our customers benefit from reducing their overall carbon footprint and transportation costs,” ArcBest noted in the report.

The report also listed the following as other efforts toward environmental sustainability.
• Pursuing initial testing of a small number of electric class 6 trucks, yard tractors and forklifts
• Pursuing initial testing of an onboard carbon-capture system through Remora
• Developing a facility enhancement and growth roadmap to help standardize sustainability updates across all ArcBest and ABF Freight locations
• Discussing a city optimization plan that will help create a more efficient operation to save miles and reduce emissions
• Continuing efforts to record, analyze and disclose ESG data across the organization, including our dedicated fleet and capacity providers

ArcBest also reported creation of a corporate responsibility program manager in June 2021 who will report to the company’s chief human resources officer.

“The role will focus on leading the development of ArcBest’s DEI strategy, roadmap and initiatives and partnering with leaders in the organization to implement and manage key aspects of employee policies and programs. This role will also drive advancement of our people and community programs, including activities related to human rights, volunteerism and
corporate and employee giving,” ArcBest noted.

The company noted in the ESG report that 15.4% of its workforce is female, 11.7% is African American, and 10.9% is Hispanic/Latino. One female in the workforce is Judy McReynolds, ArcBest president, CEO and board chair. The company also said that 54% of new employees hired as of Sept. 27 “are diverse as it relates to gender, race and ethnicity, and veteran status.”

“As a company, we will continue to pursue, develop and disclose environmental, social and
corporate governance initiatives. We look forward to sharing more about our evolving ESG
approach and materiality assessment in next year’s report,” the company noted.

ArcBest shares (NASDAQ: ARCB) closed Tuesday (Sept. 28) at $77.69, down $1.52. During the previous 52 weeks the share price has ranged between $93.96 and $29.02.