BWG Foods, one of Ireland’s leading wholesale and retail groups, has become the first fast-moving consumer goods company in the country to launch a fleet of biogas powered vehicles.
The group, which owns and operates SPAR, EUROSPAR, Londis, MACE, and XL, has launched an initial fleet of two heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) fuelled with biogas in place of traditional diesel fuel. BWG hopes to further increase the use of biogas as part of its increasingly environmentally-friendly fuel mix. The vehicles will deliver a 90% reduction in transport-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – a total of 200 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually by the business.
The launch of the biogas-fuelled rigid 26 tonne trucks with electric fridge units, which cost around €180,000 each, follows a partnership between BWG and two Irish start-ups – Vision Green and Generation Green – and represents the a major development in terms of green transport in Ireland this year.
Joanne Mellon, logistics director at BWG Foods, said: “We at BWG are very passionate about finding new solutions that can reduce our environmental impact and given the significant scale of our business, and the expansive supply chain operation that supports it, it is critically important that we invest in new technologies that allow us to pioneer less carbon intensive methods of delivery.”
The new trucks are the most efficient transport vehicles in the sector, according to BWG, and also the quietest, meaning less noise pollution across towns and city centres. In addition to the launch of its biogas HGV fleet, the group will also contribute food waste from its 240,000-square-feet National Distribution Centre at Kilcarbery, County Dublin, to the biogas production site at Nurney, County Kildare, to create a circular solution.
“We believe that biogas trucks are the answer to achieve immediate CO2 reductions, as electric and hydrogen HGVs are in their infancy and won’t be available in the Irish market for some time to come,” added Mellon. “It’s been an exciting process working with two Irish companies, Vision Green and Generation Green, in the development of a solution that has the potential to transform the logistics industry in a very positive way.”
John Pakenham, director at Vision Green, said: “The aim of our work is to support the business sector to make more sustainable choices and, with greater planning and investment, Ireland has huge potential for developing renewable gas. We have partnered with the only existing producer, Green Generation in Nurney Kildare, to bring this pilot to life, to help demonstrate the benefits of renewable gas as a transport fuel.”
Biogas has been designated as one of the Future Fuels of Choice by the Irish Government, with greater investment planned for the increased production of biogas.