Anheuser-Busch is replacing its 66-diesel tractor fleet in Houston with compressed natural gas powered tractors. This marks the beer company’s first conversion of an entire brewery fleet and represents a significant milestone in achieving its goal to reduce carbon emissions, A-B reports.
“The next generation CNG engine technology paired with support from state incentive programs contributed to our ability to take such a significant step in fully converting our Houston fleet,” says James Sembrot, senior director, transportation, Anheuser-Busch. “Houston is a strategic choice due to the central location to our facilities and distribution radius, as well as its proximity to fueling stations.”
The CNG conversion comes as the 2014 football season kicks off one of the company’s busiest shipping periods of the year – with an estimated 17 million cases of beer shipped by the Houston fleet during third quarter.
Through the advanced engine technology, the fleet is expected to reduce 2,000-tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year when adjusting emissions reduction for consumption rates.
“The city of Houston was an early leader in the pursuit of cleaner, greener energy options,” says Mayor Annise Parker. “It is encouraging to see one of our major companies taking a major step forward in this area. Cleaner technologies benefit all Houstonians because they help improve the air we breathe.
In June, the company added a global environmental goal to reduce carbon emissions in its logistics operations from network planning, transportation, and warehousing by 15 percent by the end of 2017.
As part of its ‘seed to sip’ environmental platform, the CNG conversion represents significant business and environmental benefits for Anheuser-Busch, the company says.
Working with transportation partner Ryder, the 12-liter lighter-weight engines are expected to emit 23 percent less greenhouse gases (compared to diesel), which is the equivalent of taking approximately 420 passenger vehicles off the road.
“We commend the Anheuser-Busch team for their leadership and decision to convert their entire Houston brewery fleet to cleaner, more efficient natural gas,” says Dennis Cooke, President, Global Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder. “We are honored that Anheuser-Busch has trusted Ryder as its leasing and maintenance partner to help take this important step toward reducing the environmental impact of their fleet.”
J.B. Hunt will continue to manage Anheuser-Busch’s Houston fleet. Once fully installed, the company estimates it will secure significant savings.
The natural gas vehicles are being made available through Ryder’s participation in the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (TNGVGP), funded by the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) initiatives and administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).