ATLANTA (Nov. 18, 2009)—The third division at U.S. Foodservice is now running on biodiesel blends. The Atlanta division’s 185 tractors began using biodiesel fuel early in November following the first 7,500-gallon delivery of B5. In addition to using biodiesel blends in the tractors, the fuel will power the four-cylinder, Thermo King Engines in its 210 refrigerated trailers.
Atlanta joins the U.S. Foodservice division in Plymouth, Minn., which uses B5, and the Streator, Ill., division which uses B11 in all but the winter months. The Minnesota facility has used biodiesel blends for years, the company stated, starting with B3 and switching to the state-mandated B5. “The division has had no performance or engine longevity issues,” a company spokesman said. U.S. Foodservice Minnesota is exploring a switch to B10 ahead of a state-mandate increase that takes effect in 2012.
The biodiesel fuel costs on average about a penny more per gallon. Its use is expected to reduce the U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta fleet's carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 788,000 pounds—or about 4 percent—annually. The company estimates its total biodiesel usage in 2009 will be about 1.85 million gallons, about 4 percent of the company’s total fuel use, which includes estimates for Atlanta’s two-month usage. Biodiesel fuel is being testing in other locations as well.
"Utilizing biodiesel is a continuation of our ongoing environmental strategy," said John Leake, president of U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta. "Improving our overall impact on the environment - while helping our customers find effective ways to do the same - not only makes good business sense, it's the right thing to do."
U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta is active with and has a leadership role in several local, regional and state efforts to promote and protect the environment including the Georgia DNR Project, Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia and the Atlanta Zero Waste Zone. The division, which serves the entire state of Georgia and operations in parts of the five bordering states of Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, has reduced electrical consumption, increased recycling efforts and decreased truck idle time to save fuel.