The retailer’s fleet, now one of the largest environmentally-friendly fleets in the UK, operates on a combination of diesel and bio-methane, produced from rotting organic material in landfill.

According to Sainsbury’s, the latest dual-fuel technology dramatically reduces the consumption of diesel and carbon emissions, and delivers long-term cost efficiencies. Each Dual-Fuel vehicle will save around 41 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Sainsbury’s head of transport operations, Nick Davies, said: “We set ourselves a very stretching target for carbon reduction in our transport fleet so we are always looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment while improving efficiencies. Our trial of Dual-Fuel was very successful and gave us the confidence to extend the fleet to become one of the largest in the country.

“Our early adoption of this technology is helping to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and future proof our fuel supply, which are both fundamental to the long-term sustainability of our business,” added Davies.

The company has already achieved a efficiencies across its transport operations, including cutting almost 8 million kilometres in three years.

According to Davies, the Dual-Fuel fleet will also play a key role in delivering Sainsbury’s no waste to landfill policy.

“As well as delivering to our stores the fleet also back hauls any food waste and recyclable materials to facilities to be sorted and put to positive use,” he said.

Sainsbury’s aims to reduce its depot to store transport CO2 emissions by 35% by 2020 and achieve an absolute reduction of 50% by 2030, against a 2005 baseline.

The fleet, based at the retailer’s Emerald Park Distribution Centre in Bristol, is serving stores and depots in Wales and the South West. A dedicated on site refuelling station has also been put in place to enhance fuelling efficiency and allow a larger number of Dual-Fuel vehicles to enter Sainsbury’s fleet over time.

Last month, Sainsbury’s announced that it has reduced its water consumption by 50% largely due to recycling and utilising rainwater throughout its operations.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie