(April 5, 2010)—Food distributor United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) announced plans on March 12 to adopt hydrogen fuel cell technology to power the lift truck fleet at its Sarasota, Fla., distribution center. Intended to improve efficiency, productivity and reliability, 65 GenDrive™ fuel cell powered lift trucks will be mobilized at the Sarasota distribution facility, with a targeted completion date in June 2010.
The distributor will add 29 new hydrogen fuel cell-powered lift trucks to its fleet, and 36 existing lift trucks will be retrofitted to hydrogen fuel cell technology.
By converting its Sarasota lift truck fleet to hydrogen fuel cells, UNFI expects carbon emissions will be reduced by approximately 132 metric tons annually, an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of 35 automobiles.
The 352,000-square-foot Sarasota facility, which employs approximately 160 associates, serves as a regional distribution hub for customers in the Southeastern United States.