Supermarket chain Lidl is set to introduce delivery trucks powered by bio-methane generated from in-store food waste.
In a partnership with logistics provider McCulla Ireland, Lidl will place a fleet of eight bio-methane powered trucks on the roads of Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.
Food waste will be collected from all 41 Lidl Northern Ireland stores, and McCulla will start to create bio-methane gas at its anaerobic digester (AD) plant in Lisburn to power the transport tasked with delivering goods to the grocer’s shops each day.
The new Iveco S-WAY 4×2 trucks are supplied by NI Trucks promise to deliver improved efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions on retail deliveries when operating on bio-methane, according to Lidl and McCulla.
Conor Boyle, regional director of Lidl Northern Ireland, commented: “This partnership with McCulla underlines our commitment to developing sustainable and innovative solutions which create real impact in every area of our business.
“McCulla’s fleet covers more than 2,300 road miles per day, ensuring the safe and timely delivery of fresh and chilled foods to more than 300,000 weekly customers across our regional store network.”
He added: “The introduction of this new ‘green fleet’ operating on fully renewable biomethane as its primary fuel source will save more than 93% in carbon emissions due per bio-methane truck.”
Ashley McCulla, chairman of McCulla, said the logistics business has produced all its own electricity from an AD plant at Lisburn since 2017, adding the ultimate goal was to use energy produced by the facility to power McCulla’s logistics fleet as well.
“Working with Lidl Northern Ireland, we’ve delivered on that ambition and we’re honoured to be part of a real first for the industry, and for Northern Ireland,” he remarked.
Diane Dodds, Northern Ireland minister for the Department for the Economy, called the move “another tangible step in Northern Ireland leadership in decarbonising our energy system, in this instance in the ground-breaking displacement of fossil fuel in our transport sector”.
She continued: “It is also a concrete example of the circular economy in action, which is an important part of our green economic recovery.”
In the Republic of Ireland, Lidl has strengthened its partnership with Trim-based Food Surplus Management (FSM), which will collect the grocer’s food waste and customers’ recycling deposits directly from stores and three regional distribution centres.
Lidl said the food waste will be converted to bio-methane and used to fuel the fleet responsible for collecting the waste. Soft and rigid plastic waste at Lidl’s stores will be collected by FSM and recycled into items such as garden furniture, pallets, and flower pots.
[Image credit: Lidl/McCulla Ireland]
[Updated: 24 March 2021 at 12:53]