Sainsbury's expands green fleet

3rd June 2013


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UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's is set to save more than 2,000 tonnes of carbon each year after upping the number of dual-fuel vehicles in its delivery fleet

The retailer, which operates more than 1,000 stores across the UK, has confirmed it expects to cut emissions from its deliveries in the South West by 2,090 tonnes each year, after expanding its green fleet from 30 to 51 vehicles.

Sainsbury’s was the first UK supermarket to trial daily food deliveries with a lorry powered by biomethane harvested from landfill sites in 2008. The firm has been gradually building up its dual-fuel fleet, which runs on biomethane and diesel, and is now building a permanent biomethane fuelling station at its distribution centre in Bristol.

The dual-fuel lorries emit up to 25% less carbon than traditional diesel-fuelled lorries and continuing to expand its fleet will play a key role in the supermarket chain meeting its pledge to cut emissions from transporting goods between its depots and stores by 35% by 2020.

“We set ourselves a very stretching target for carbon reduction in our transport fleet, so we are always looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment while improving efficiencies,” confirmed Nick Davies, Sainsbury’s head of transport operations.

“Our trial of dual-fuel was very successful and gave us the confidence to extend the fleet to become one of the largest in the country. Our early adoption of this technology is helping to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and future proof our fuel supply, which are both fundamental to the long-term sustainability of our business.”

The dual-fuel project receives no government funding or subsidies and has been expanded slowly to ensure that the economic benefits match the environmental ones, a spokeswoman confirmed.

Alongside investing in dual-fuel vehicles to cut carbon, Sainsbury’s has cut nearly 5 million miles from its logistics journeys over the last three years, the equivalent of 5% of total distances travelled, and back hauls food waste and recyclable materials to its distribution facilities.

In 2011, Sainsbury’s pledged to invest £1 billion by 2020 in improving its impacts on the environment and society. The firm has set targets to cut the absolute carbon emissions of its operations by 30% by 2020, compared with 2005 and by 50% by 2030.

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