UPS using biodiesel blends at Worldport facility in Louisville, Ky.

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United Parcel Service this month began using biodiesel blends at its hub in Louisville, Ky. “There is a finite amount of petroleum-based fuel available from our planet, so it is important that UPS and other companies invest in ways to use alternative fuels and technologies, including biodiesel,” says Scott Wicker, UPS chief austainability officer. “This project helps us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels with the added benefit that it will also reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.”

UPS recently installed a biodiesel fuel tank and fueling station at its Worldport facility. It will allow fueling operators to blend specified percentages of biodiesel “on the fly,” starting with 5 percent biodiesel (B5) and working up to 20 percent biodiesel (B20). The 30,000-gallon biodiesel tank and station at Worldport fuels nearly 200 vehicles and diesel-fueled equipment, most of which help load packages on and off the planes.

The National Biodiesel Board called UPS’s switch to biodiesel monumental. ”For a giant like UPS to use biodiesel is not only an outstanding vote of confidence for biodiesel, but an example of how America’s first advanced biofuel will fuel the drive toward genuine corporate sustainability,” says Joe Jobe, chief executive officer of the National Biodiesel Board.

Since biodiesel blends of up to 20 percent can be used in any diesel engine without modifications, it is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to clean up heavy-duty equipment, according to the board.

“Biodiesel supports green jobs and domestic energy security here and nationally, and we commend UPS for making biodiesel a part of its commitment to sustainability,” says Melissa Howell, executive director of the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition.