A method for developing a Triple-Bottom-Line business case for the implementation of alternative fuels and technology
Thiets, Robert Clyde
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Alternative fuels and technologies for truckload carriers can provide significant environmental and social benefits over traditional heavy duty diesel vehicles by reducing petroleum-based fuel consumption and vehicle tailpipe emissions. These alternative fuels and technologies, however, often carry a cost premium or require significant capital investment. Dedicating vehicles, equipment, and infrastructure to an alternative fuel or technology also represents a significant risk in the extremely volatile trucking business. A Triple-Bottom-Line analysis, which includes economic, social, and environmental impacts of an alternative fuel or technology will strengthen the business case by incorporating the benefits of emissions reduction. A stronger business case will promote the use of alternative fuels and technologies while mitigating the risk. This thesis proposes a method for identifying alternative fuels and technologies that provide the best Triple-Bottom-Line benefit and provides a structure for modeling the emissions of the target application, quantifies the value of emissions reduction, and constructs a Triple-Bottom-Line business case. The Triple-Bottom-Line business case proposed by this method is incremental. It presupposes an existing or planned truckload carrier business already exists and only investigates the changes which occur with implementation of an alternative fuel or technology. This method may be useful for any carrier business or any company with an extensive shipping and logistics network. A case study, which was created for large automotive manufacturer, details the Triple-Bottom-Line business case for an on-site compressed natural refueling system and vehicles.