In an effort to reduce its waste streams, Albertsons Companies is converting used cooking oil, created at its grocery stores, into biodiesel. The biodiesel is then used to fuel its trucking fleets. Since 2010, several of its brands in California, including Safeway, Vons and Pavilions have been fueling their fleets with biodiesel. The program is part of Albertson’s goal of reducing its environmental footprint. The company notes that use of biodiesel lowers overall emissions and cites the National Renewable Energy Laboratory whose studies have shown biodiesel can lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by up to 52 percent as compared to petroleum diesel.
Once the cooking oil is collected, biodiesel companies then covert the oil in to biodiesel. In 2015, the company collected more than 481,000 gallons of used cooking oil, an increase of more than 50 percent in the past five years. The program has been so successful that Albertsons now plans to use the excess biodiesel produced to also fuel its store fleet served by their 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.”
The company continues to explore new technologies and says they have also tested several trucks based in their Southern California distribution center that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). According to the U.S. EPA, LNG burns as a cleaner fuel compared to diesel and produces 26 percent less GHG emissions.