United Biscuits powers lorry fleet with waste cooking oil

International biscuit and cake manufacturer United Biscuits (UB) has developed a sustainability scheme which will see the use of waste cooking oil to power 12 lorries in its fleet.

The new initiative is part of UB’s ‘Fewer and Friendlier Miles’ campaign and uses vegetable oil – a by-product of the snacks manufacturing process- to be converted into Ultra Biofuel which can be used to power the company’s adapted lorry fleet.

In partnership with waste energy group Convert2Green (formerly Biomotive Fuels), UB has modified engines across its fleet which will allow the company to recycle 500 tonnes of waste cooking oil per year, saving up to 97% in CO2 emissions compared with traditional diesel fuel.

Since the launch of the ‘Fewer and Friendlier Miles’ campaign in 2006, UB has removed 20 million truck miles from Britain’s roads as well as adding 62 longer trailers to its fleet with the aim of saving 450,000 miles per year and reducing annual CO2 emissions by 618 tonnes.

UB head of distribution Rob Wright said: “The benefits of recycling waste cooking oil from our food factories into Ultra Biofuel is another step along United Biscuits’ green journey, which has already seen us make significant gains in reducing carbon emissions across our logistics business.

“It is estimated the UK generates 250 million litres of waste oils a year, and we are delighted to be able to demonstrate a sustainable use for this waste material with potential to deliver significant CO2 savings from transport within the UK.”

Sustainable future

UB has recently converted two of its Euro VI vehicles to run on Ultra Biofuel and plans to extend the project further across the business.

The transport industry is inching towards a more sustainable future with the past year having seen an increase to 4% of vehicles in the UK now using biofuels such as biodiesel and bioethanol over non-renewable fossil fuels.

Earlier this week (22 September), edie reported on the flight of Finnish airline Finnair from Helsinki to the UN Climate Summit in New York powered entirely by cooking oil recycled from restaurants.

Finland’s Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto said: “If the price of oil rises and biofuels become cheaper, there will hopefully be a day when we’ll be able to replace at least some of the fossil fuels with fuels made of renewable and waste material.”

Lois Vallely

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