Dutch conglomerate Royal Ahold NV announced plans to sell its U.S. Foodservice division as part of a new strategic plan to improve profits and boost shareholder values.
Maine Dairy Switches To Bio-Diesel Fuel
Oakhurst Dairy says it will have transitioned 130 delivery trucks, or more than 90 percent of its fleet, to bio-diesel fuel by the end of 2006.
This switch will make the Oakhurst fleet the largest private bio-diesel fleet in New England, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1,332 tons per year.
"We have been working on decreasing our carbon emissions for several years as part of our commitment to a healthier planet," says Stan Bennett, president of the Portland, MA-based dairy processor. "But this is a huge step forward for our organization. We are proud to help make our state a cleaner place to live. Bio-diesel is an eco-friendly, cleaner-burning fuel, which reduces carbon and sulfur vehicle emissions and decreases the nation's reliance on foreign fuel sources."
The company made the switch as part of its commitment to the Governor's Carbon Challenge, a voluntary carbon dioxide emissions reduction program initiated in 2004. Oakhurst was one of the first companies in Maine to sign on to the challenge, agreeing to cut direct emissions by 15 percent and indirect emissions by 5 percent (below year 2000 levels).
Oakhurst also cited the 8 cent per gallon reduction in the excise tax for motor fuel that contains at least 2 percent bio-diesel, a provision of Governor Baldacci's energy bill last session, as a reason for the switch to bio-diesel. "Maine is supporting sound environmental policies with good tax policies, and this is helping speed the transition to cleaner renewable fuels," says Bennett.
Maine was the first state in the nation to put forth a Governor's Carbon Challenge, and was among the first to use bio-diesel to heat state offices and buildings and to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The Maine DOT also plans to begin using bio-diesel in the spring in some of its regions.
The B20 bio-diesel that Oakhurst will use most of the year will consist of 20 percent bio-diesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel, which is a blend that has demonstrated significant environmental benefits with no modifications to a diesel engine. The greenhouse gas emissions to be saved by Oakhurst annually are estimated to be equivalent to avoiding the use of 137,628 gallons of gasoline.
Oakhurst's goal is to increase the bio-diesel ratio in its fuel beyond 20 percent in the future, as long as no engine problems arise.
When you register for FoodLogistics.com you stay connected to the pulse of the industry by signing up for topic-based e-newsletters and information. Registering also allows you to quickly comment on content and request more infomation.