National Distributors Inc. to save money with biodiesel blend

By National Distributors Inc. | August 06, 2013

National Distributors Inc. announced a new partnership Aug. 5 with Maine Standard Biofuels to create a diesel blend using biodiesel manufactured with recycled cooking oil collected from local area restaurants. The lower cost of biodiesel will reduce the cost to run the company’s fleet. The new relationship is part of National Distributors’ ongoing efforts to go green, which includes recent upgrades to their cooling technology and lighting system to reduce energy and protect the environment. Recent improvements have saved the beverage distributor more than $30,000 per year and reduced the company’s overall energy use by 10 percent.

"As a Maine company, we are always striving to find ways to help the environment and protect our state,” said Jeff Kane, president of National Distributors. “Our new relationship with Maine Standard Biofuels is a great opportunity for our company to build on our industry-leading efforts to reduce our energy costs and provide the best service to our retailers and customers. We plan to use this new blend of fuel in all of our diesel trucks. We are really excited about our savings, but most importantly, we're proud that we are able to utilize a fuel source that originates from our restaurant accounts.”

Maine Standard Biofuels, a Portland-based company, is the state’s only full-service used cooking oil (UCO) collector and biodiesel fuel manufacturer. The company produces biodiesel using only locally collected and recycled UCO. The fuel is a sustainable replacement for diesel fuel and can be used in diesel engines without any modifications. Biodiesel burns cleaner, produces fewer emissions and increases the life of engines that use it. The company collects UCO from more than 800 restaurants and food manufacturers from Bar Harbor to Kittery.

“We are very pleased and grateful that National Distributors has chosen to use our biodiesel that’s manufactured right here in Maine in its trucking fleet,” said Jarmin Kaltsas, owner of Maine Standard Biofuel and a former National Distributors’ employee. “The company's trucks are very visible on the roads and highways around southern Maine and now people will see a prominent decal showing they're running on Maine biodiesel. I know Jeff is excited about using our fuel for the cost savings and the environmental impact, but also because the local businesses we collect used cooking oil from to make our fuel are many of the same businesses that National has a relationship with. It brings it all full circle.”

The switch to the new blend of diesel fuel is expected to save National Distributors 10 cents per gallon, a total savings of $3,500 by the end of 2013, and more than $7,000 by the end of 2014.

Since 2010, National Distributors has introduced a variety of ecofriendly technologies as part of its continuing efforts to help reduce energy costs. The company spent $120,000 to improve its lighting system by installing new energy-efficient bulbs and timers. The changes to the lighting at the company warehouse have resulted in a savings of $30,000 per year and reduced their carbon footprint by 250 kilowatts. 

Two years ago, National Distributors changed its refrigeration system to Ice Cold Technology, using nontoxic and nonhazardous catalysts developed for refrigeration that integrate oil in the process and reduce friction for the units, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in energy and electrical consumption. 

In addition to the new relationship with Maine Standard Biofuels and recent warehouse improvements, National Distributors has introduced driver handheld devices that reduce paper invoice use and has recently changed to an all green voice-activated picking process that eliminates paper pick sheets in the warehouse.


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