October 21 - As part of its commitment to "go green with increased awareness and visibility for environmental issues," the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) has announced it will present an Environmental Award annually to one member compa

One of the five questions on the application form asks, "Is your company a participant in the Environmental Protections Agency's SmartWay programme?" Since spring 2008, SC&RA has been an affiliate of this public-private initiative, which supports freight shippers, carriers and logistics companies in setting and achieving ambitious goals that increase fuel efficiency and reduce emission of greenhouse gases and air pollutants.

Many SC&RA member companies already have signed on as SmartWay Transport Partners. Although being a SmartWay participant is not a prerequisite for winning the award, participation demonstrates a commitment to environmentally-sound practices.

In addition to ascertaining whether a company participates in SmartWay, the SC&RA Environmental Awardapplication form asks about specific office practices as they relate to environmental consciousness. Examples include recycling, alternative energy, programmable thermostats, carpooling and public transport incentives.

Another question requests descriptions of environmental policies and practices as they relate to company vehicles and equipment. Still another question asks for examples of company environmental policies and practices as they relate to job sites, including any hazardous materials and environmental training and certification required of employees and/or contractors.

The final question calls for a brief description of "any other extraordinary, environmental practices, programmes or initiatives undertaken by your company." SC&RA plans to compiled answers in a Best Practices document that members everywhere can adopt to improve the industry's image.

"This makes sense for the environment - and for business. Just as our members have attracted customers by demonstrating a commitment to safety, they may also be able to gain business by showing definitively they have substantial green policies and practices in place," said SC&RA executive vice president Joel Dandrea. "Quite simply, companies that insist on social and environmental responsibility within their own operations, may insist that their suppliers share these values."

To find out more about the SC&RA's Environmental Award, as well as other components of SC&RA's extensive Awards Programme, visit the awards portion of the website. The entry deadline for the new award is March 15, 2011.