RICHMOND, VA - Owens & Minor, Inc. has joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the freight industry, designed to increase energy efficiency, while significantly reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution. Owens & Minor's private fleet and its energy-efficient business practices earned the SmartWay Performance score of 1.25, the highest rating available in the SmartWay Transport Partnership, according to the company.

Through its fleet management practices, Owens & Minor will contribute to the Partnership's goal to reduce 33 to 66 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxide per year by 2012, through improvement in the environmental performance of private fleet operations.

"By continuously striving to make our nationwide fleet more fuel efficient and cost-effective in order to better serve our healthcare customers, we are also doing our part to help the environment, and that is important for our industry, our company, our teammates and our customers," said Craig Smith, president & chief executive officer of Owens & Minor.

Owens & Minor has already made improvements in fuel economy by reducing vehicle speed, enabling automatic idle shutdown, replacing older equipment, and choosing new equipment with automatic transmissions. Owens & Minor fleet management teammates and drivers will continue to research ways to reduce the company's carbon footprint by continuing to work closely with the SmartWay Transport Partnership, according to the company.

Headquartered in Richmond, Va., Owens & Minor, Inc. is a distributor of national name-brand medical and surgical supplies and a healthcare supply-chain management company. For more information, visit