Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., welcomed President Barack Obama to its Upper Marlboro, Md., distribution center as he called for new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks.

In using the Upper Marlboro distribution center for the backdrop for this important announcement, President Obama recognized Safeway's commitment to operating its business in the most fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible way.

Safeway's long-time participation in the EPA SmartWay Transport Program as both a carrier and shipping partner helps the company move goods through its expansive supply chain in the cleanest and most efficient way possible. In 2013, 99.9% of the truckloads that moved through Safeway's distribution centers were shipped by SmartWay Transport carriers who have implemented technologies to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Safeway has increased its ton miles per gallon (the amount of fuel needed to transport 1 ton of material one mile) by nearly 28% since 2006.

In addition, Safeway maintains the following initiatives in transportation fuel efficiency:

• Optimizes load planning for each trip to maximize the amount of product that each truck delivers to a store. Safeway continues to increase trailer cube efficiency year over year.

• To help produce alternative fuel for its trucking fleets, Safeway collects used cooking oil from stores in California and the Pacific Northwest to create biodiesel fuel. Last year, more than 427,750 gallons of used cooking oil were collected to produce over 348,656 gallons of biodiesel.

• Safeway partnered with Volvo Trucks and Oberon Fuels to pilot two heavy-duty commercial trucks powered by dimethyl ether (DME) produced from biomass. DME can be produced from a variety of sustainable biomass feedstocks, including food, animal and agricultural waste, as well as from natural gas.

• Safeway is testing five trucks that use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel. The trucks were launched at the end of 2013 at Safeway's Southern California distribution center.

In addition to fuel efficiencies, Safeway's distribution centers are operated with such rigorous and successful waste reduction programs that over one half of the distribution centers and manufacturing plants have reached a "zero waste" status.