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Alaska Marine Lines invests in world's most efficient refrigerated units

Posted on Tue, Jan 14, 2014

AML logoAlaska Marine Lines, a Lynden company providing marine transportation to and from Alaska, is continuing its efforts to work lean and green by purchasing 200 of the most energy efficient refrigerated units in the world. The Star Cool "reefers" achieve the industry's lowest energy consumption by matching the compressor speed to the required heat load of the container rather than running at a single constant speed. In addition, the box and refrigeration equipment are built as one unit with an insulation system designed to minimize energy loss.

"At Lynden, we foster a culture of customer service, innovation and efficiency with a focus on protecting the environments where we do business," says Alex McKallor, Executive Vice President of Operations. "We operate under a company-wide Green Initiative and adopt programs and practices that reduce our environmental impact. Investing in this new energy efficient equipment is part of that effort."

Alaska Marine Lines barge into the sunsetAlaska Marine Lines already uses a time-share system on frozen loads, greatly reducing energy consumption, and the new Star Cool reefers will allow the same energy saving results for chill loads. The energy saved will make it possible to power more units during Alaska's peak fish season to accommodate high volumes for customers without additional generators, energy use and fuel costs.

Over the past two years, Alaska Marine Lines phased out its 220-volt reefers and transitioned to more energy efficient 440-volt units. The company has worked to reduce fuel use and conserve energy in other areas as well. Working with partner Western Towboat, fuel and route optimization has reduced fuel use without compromising service. At the Seattle terminal, lighting and heating upgrades have reduced electric and natural gas use, and new electric forklifts emit 50 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the older propane units.

Alaska Marine Lines also works with local communities and other Lynden companies to support recycling efforts around Alaska. The company moves nearly 3,500 tons of recyclables each year from Anchorage to Seattle for Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR), helping to make drop-off recycling free and convenient for residents. In Cordova, the company donates shipment of gill nets for the Copper River Watershed Project as well as aluminum cans and cardboard where proceeds from recycling go to the local high school.

Along with sister companies Lynden Transport and Alaska West Express, Alaska Marine Lines has earned Alaska's Green Star Award, recognizing businesses that practice waste reduction, energy conservation, and pollution prevention. Lynden companies are on Inbound Logistics magazine's annual 75 Green Supply Chain Partner lists each year, and LTI, Inc., Lynden Transport, Brown Line, LLC and Alaska West Express are all EPA SmartWay Transport Partners.

Lynden's environmental policy calls for meeting or exceeding environmental regulations, maximizing fuel efficiency and monitoring and guarding against accidents, emissions and avoidable pollution.

Tags: energy efficiency, Alaska Marine Lines, green Lynden, environmental efforts, Green Initiative, Star Cool reefers

Energy efficiency continues across Lynden companies

Posted on Tue, Jun 11, 2013

Green LyndenLynden companies continue to be committed to working lean and green every day of the year.  Since 2008, improvements such as lighting upgrades, motion sensors, heating and air conditioning improvements, and strategic insulation have resulted in dramatic energy efficiency improvements.

Alaska Hovercraft in Bethel replaced High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights with high efficiency fluorescents at the airport and shop and saw an immediate 26 percent reduction in electricity use. “We recouped the cost of both upgrades in less than two months. The new lights are so bright that we can shut down half the warehouse lights during low traffic work hours without any safety concerns,” says General Manager Kevin Carter.

At Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle, the newEnergy efficiency at Alaska Marine Lines Container Freight Station (CFS) expansion also included the installation of high efficiency lights. Employees came up with the idea to paint walls, ceiling, doors, and headers bright white and scrubbing and resealing floors. The white walls reflect light and eliminate the need for more lighting fixtures. “We also replaced the old thermostats and eliminated several heating systems working against each other,” explains Seattle Terminal Manager Mark Gaska.

Other improvements throughout Lynden companies include:

  • At LTI, Inc. in Sunnyside, WA, lighting upgrades in the shop and individual motion sensors installed on each light allow partial instead of full lighting of the shop. The change resulted in a 20 percent reduction in energy use.

  • Lynden International’s Boston employees worked with their landlord to install an automatic thermostat and saw a 30 percent reduction in electricity and heating use.

  • Anchorage's South Air Park facility uses "heat recovery" to heat some spaces while cooling others. A split duct in the IT computer room reroutes warm air into the basement below the offices and warm air from the second floor offices is rerouted to the cross dock.

  • In Fairbanks, Lynden Transport’s recent warehouse expansion and upgrades included installing a dock door “curtain” to reduce heat loss in the winter months plus new dock plates and insulation to keep a tight seal around the doors.  “But the biggest change was a new heating system which allowed us to manage our heat with digital thermostats. We can now set temperatures for specific times of day and days of the week,” says Manager Greg Busher. The changes have resulted in a 20 percent reduction in natural gas use from 2011 to 2012. The Fairbanks upgrades were identified as potential ideas in an energy audit for the company done in 2011.

“A number of our companies participated in the Alaska Energy Authority program and signed up for audits to identify priorities for energy upgrades in 2011 and 2012,” explains Anna Deal, Lynden’s Green Team and Green Initiative Coordinator. “The greatest opportunity for savings comes from replacing inefficient lighting, installing automatic controls such as digitally controlled thermostats and motion sensors, sealing air leaks and repairing insulation around dock doors and other areas.”

Tags: energy efficiency, green Lynden, Lynden employees, environmental efforts, Green Initiative

Employee ideas save energy and reduce waste

Posted on Tue, Feb 28, 2012

Last year, Lynden’s Green Team once again asked employees for their ideas for Lynden to be "leaner and greener."  The Green Team received more than 100 responses and many ideas have already been put into action.

New paperless processes are available due to employee suggestions. For example, Lynden's IT group has improved systems to upload electronic images eliminating the need to print and then scan.  Lynden Transport and LTI, Inc. are testing electronic-logs to replace paper time cards, and Lynden Transport is testing the use of handheld devices to collect signatures electronically rather than using paper driver records. Lynden International has reduced its greenbar paper waste by 40 percent by changing to electronic reports and eliminating unnecessary prints with their General Office is saving roughly 180,000 sheets of paper and $6,000 per year.

Lynden Recycle LogoThere were a number of recommendations to provide extended training for use of the paperless EZ commerce system. As a result, a Learning Management System (LMS) training piece is currently under development to teach sales, customer service and accounting employees how to help our customers use the EZ commerce. 

Energy efficiency was a top priority for employees who responded to the survey. Between 2008 and 2010, nine Lynden locations invested in energy efficiency upgrades such as lighting, motion sensors, dock seals and fans. Together, these investments are saving nearly 1,000 megawatts of electricity, 25,000 therms of natural gas, 415 metric tons of CO2, and over $100,000 per year in energy costs. Lynden Transport's Fife Service Center recently replaced high pressure sodium lights with energy efficient LED lights, and upgrades are underway at Anchorage's South Air Park facility.  Also in 2011, Alaska Hovercraft in Bethel, Alaska Marine Trucking in Juneau, and Lynden Transport in Fairbanks conducted energy audits to identify top priorities for energy efficiency.

Lynden employees asked for recycling at locations where it was not yet available. Recycling programs are now in place at all 60 Lynden locations. Lynden recycles items that are accepted locally as well as toxic items like batteries, fluorescent lights and ink cartridges.  In remote locations in Alaska, the Lynden system is used to backhaul items to locations where they can be recycled. 

Visit Lynden's Environmental Stewardship webpage to learn more about Lynden's green efforts!

Tags: EZ Commerce, energy efficiency, Green Initiative Team, recycling, environmental efforts

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