U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta has become the first major foodservice distributor in Georgia to run its entire delivery fleet on biodiesel fuel.
All of the Atlanta division's 185 tractors and 210 trailers began using biodiesel fuel last week following its first 7,500-gallon delivery of B5, a blend of diesel containing 5 percent biodiesel, a form of diesel fuel made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant greases. Biodiesel is a sustainable, renewable alternative to diesel fuel which can dramatically reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions.
"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."
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 (CO2) emissions by nearly 788,000 pounds - or about 4 percent - annually. That's roughly the equivalent of taking 65 cars off the road or of planting more than 3,150 trees every year.
The biodiesel is locally sourced and refined, a product of S.A. White Oil Co. of Marietta.
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, already has a number of "green" achievements to its credit. These include:
- Reducing electrical consumption by 18 percent with the use of T8 fluorescent lamps in its warehouse operations.
- Decreasing waste by 55 percent through recovery and recycling programs.
- Saving fuel by decreasing truck idle time below 2 percent.
Atlanta is the third U.S. Foodservice division to use biodiesel in its fleet. It joins divisions in Streator, Ill., and Plymouth, Minn.