The goals are aimed at reducing carbon emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy. Wilbur-Ellis plans to reduce emissions as soon as possible, achieving net zero absolute carbon emissions by 2050. This is in alignment with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the average rise in global temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. Wilbur-Ellis also intends to increase the use of renewable energy in its manufacturing and distribution operations. One step in that transition is installing solar energy panels at a number of company locations.
“These goals demonstrate a commitment to make our own operations more sustainable, while also developing solutions that could benefit our customers,” said Wilbur-Ellis President and Chief Executive Officer John Buckley. “Our goals also reflect the company’s support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are making a global impact.”
Buckley also noted an ongoing program – the Wilbur-Ellis Innovation Award – launched as part of the company’s 100th anniversary celebration. The award invited teams of U.S. college students to propose innovative ways to sustainably feed a growing world population. The winners of the competition will be announced in the summer of 2022, with the top prize of $25,000 going to the team with the most creative and viable ideas.
Collaboration With Ford Pro Begins Move to Electric Vehicles
Another exciting step Wilbur-Ellis announced today is a collaboration with Ford Pro, which is introducing a new line of electric pickup trucks – the Ford F-150 Lightning. Ford Pro is a stand-alone unit of Ford Motor Company that serves commercial customers with a one-stop-shop of vehicles, software, charging and financing.
Through this collaboration, Wilbur-Ellis will initially integrate 10 of the new electric trucks into its fleet in Sonoma and the Salinas Valley of California. Ford Pro also will provide charging stations and on-board in-vehicle telematics that can remotely optimize charging, monitor vehicle diagnostics, and help improve driver safety through its cloud-based software. The announcement was made at the Dutton Ranch in Sebastopol, California, a vineyard in the Sonoma wine region and a long-time Wilbur-Ellis customer. Dutton Ranch is participating in a pilot program with Ford Pro to test its software and charging solutions, along with Ford’s electric cargo vans and pickup trucks, in real-world farming conditions.
The collaboration with Wilbur-Ellis expands that effort by putting the electric trucks into service on a larger scale. “We’re very excited about being among the first to use the new Ford F-150 Lightning trucks in a commercial, agricultural setting,” said Buckley. “This collaboration is a win for everyone. Ford Pro will see its new electric trucks in action. Wilbur-Ellis will begin the transition to electric vehicles in our fleet, which includes 2,800 on-road vehicles worldwide. And our customers will benefit from the information we gather about the impact these vehicles could have in their operations.”
Buckley added: “Every step we take to protect the environment is important. But it’s also important to raise awareness that each of us – as individuals and organizations – can make a difference. That’s one reason we launched the Wilbur-Ellis Innovation Award for student teams – to surface great ideas from the next generation. It’s why we’re beginning the Ford Pro collaboration. And it’s why we’re setting clear sustainability goals and are taking action to achieve them. There’s no silver bullet, but in these ways and many others, Wilbur-Ellis is working to be part of the solution.”