Albertsons Companies increases biodiesel use for truck fleets

By Albertsons Companies | August 02, 2016

As one of the country’s largest food and drug retailers, Albertsons Companies is actively pursuing the goal of reducing waste and minimizing our environmental impact. We look for opportunities to lower the carbon footprint in our stores, offices, facilities and distribution centers across all of our banners (including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and Pavilions).

We have identified the conversion of used cooking oil from our stores as a unique way to not only reduce our waste stream, but also to reduce our environmental footprint. Since 2010, some of our Safeway, Vons and Pavilions stores throughout California have been recycling used cooking oil by converting it to biodiesel to power our truck fleets. By using biodiesel as a fuel in our truck fleets, we reduce the amount of conventional diesel we purchase, in addition to lowering our overall emissions. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, biodiesel could lower greenhouse gas emissions by 52 percent when compared to petroleum diesel.

Once the cooking oil is collected, we work with vendors who process the oil and convert it to biodiesel. In 2015 alone, we collected more than 481,000 gallons of used cooking oil from our stores. Our biodiesel use has increased over 50 percent in the past five years. In fact, the program has been so successful that we will soon start using the excess biodiesel produced to also fuel the Albertsons store fleet served by our Brea and Irvine Distribution Centers. According to Tom Nartker, Albertsons Companies Vice President of Transportation, “We’re really excited to expand this program to our Albertsons fleet in Southern California.” 

We continue to explore new technologies and opportunities that could reduce our transportation footprint. For example, we tested several trucks at our distribution center in Southern California that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG burns as a cleaner fuel compared to diesel and produces 26 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of our inbound third-party trucks are also registered as US EPA SmartWay certified carriers. This program recognizes businesses for operating in the most fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible way.

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