Your Climate Solutions Expert: carbon offsets, renewable energy credits, and carbon tracking services

CSS Trucking Efficiency Project

This project reduces the carbon emissions produced by long-haul truckers.

Carbon Project Type: Transportation Efficiency
Location: Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.
Year: 2008
Volume: 114,654 metric tons

Nearly everything we use today spends some of its journey on a truck. Long-haul truckers deliver our goods where neither rail systems nor ships can go. They put in long hours, log thousands of miles, and unfortunately, generate tons of CO2 and other polluting emissions. Like you, they don’t like that last part. They love blue skies, wide open spaces, and the great outdoors. And the locally-owned, owner-operator drivers in particular, just like family farmers, do their best to build a livelihood against the challenges of nature, weather, and rising energy costs. Sometimes it’s a hard road. 

But in 2008, NativeEnergy lightened their load. By purchasing truck-efficiency carbon offsets, NativeEnergy’s customers helped Cascade Sierra Solutions (CSS), an Oregon-based non-profit, provide outreach and retrofitting services to owner-operators. CSS serves its clients with energy-efficient products, regulatory advice, installation contracting and coordination, and below-market financing—which enable long-haul truckers to cut their costs and their greenhouse gas emissions. Help Build™ carbon offsets provided critical support for Cascade Sierra’s work and extended reduced retrofit costs to the truckers. As a result, they have been able to avoid emissions that would otherwise be generated.

This first trucking carbon project resulted from the grouping of several customized energy efficiency measures applied to long-haul, heavy-duty diesel trucks from a locally-owned fleet. These measures reduced the consumption of diesel fuel through reductions in aerodynamic drag, tire rolling resistance, and fuel consumption while idling. 

Typically, long-haul drivers must idle their engines to provide livable cab temperatures while they sleep. Auxilliary Power Units and other idle reduction technologies provide alternative power sources for climate control while using a small fraction of the fuel that the main engine would otherwise consume by idling. These measures reduce the amount of diesel fuel combustion necessary to operate the truck over a fixed distance. 

Depending on the specific measures installed, most trucks have saved between 10 and 60 short tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the environment each year. That is equivalent to converting 5-25 average cars to hybrids! A critical sample of the trucks in this project use GPS tracking to collect driving distance data for reporting. With these data and conservative calculations of the fuel savings from the measures installed, NativeEnergy is able to track and verify the amount of tons of carbon credits generated from the trucks.

NativeEnergy does not include in its calculation any fuel savings in states requiring the implementation of such measures.

Sustainable Development Benefits

Environmental Benefits
Reduces the amount of polluting diesel fuel consumed by:

  • Aerodynamic drag
  • Tire rolling resistance
  • Engine idling
  • Saves between 10 and 60 short tons of carbon dioxide per year

Social Benefits

  • Cuts fuel costs for truckers

Project Participants

This project is a collaboration between Cascade Sierra Solutions, participating drivers, a trucking fleet company, and NativeEnergy customers.


This project predated the availability of third-party methodologies for quantifying CO2 reductions for trucking efficiency projects. In the spirit of innovation and transparency that has been our hallmark since our inception, our engineers conservatively estimated the impacts based on publically available data, and we made sure our customers were given enough information to judge for themselves that the project’s reductions would be produced in at least the quantity we sold.

Financial Additionality

This project meets NativeEnergy’s stringent additionality criteria, as our funding was necessary to the project’s implementation.