United Biscuits’ award-winning approach to reducing transport emissions

United Biscuits, the Halifax-headquartered manufacturer of biscuits, cakes and snacks, has extended an industry leading initiative that leverages waste cooking oil to power its delivery vehicles.

United Biscuits’ (UB) 44 tonne vehicles have been converted and operate a duel fuel system with Ultra Biofuel being 85 per cent of the total fuel consumed. This generates an overall CO2 saving of 82.5 per cent, which is the CO2 equivalent to removing 1.5 million truck miles from the road per year.

UB converted an additional six Euro VI vehicles to Biofuel as a result of the project’s success following the initial launch in 2012, when the company formed a consortium with Convert2Green and the University of Leeds Energy Institute and participated in the Department for Transport’s Low Carbon Truck Trial. The University of Leeds carried out extensive testing and analysis in real world conditions during the trial and published three papers containing the results. In addition to proving the CO2 benefits, there was also a significant reduction in particulate emissions with no deterioration in engine performance or fuel consumption.

The move to Ultra Biofuel is part of a series of commitments from UB to reduce carbon emissions across its logistic operations, which have already seen a total decrease of 43 per cent in CO2 since 2005. This includes the introduction of 62 two metre longer trailers to UB’s delivery fleet, operating under an extended Department for Transport trial. These trailers carry 15 per cent more pallets and help to reduce road miles by 450,000 per annum.

In September, the UB partnership won the ‘Low Carbon Fuel Initiative of the Year’ at the Low Carbon Vehicle Champions Awards and earlier this month these and other initiatives were also recognized in UB being awarded the ‘Freight Operator of the Year’ at the National Transport Awards.

Both projects form part of the company’s multi-award winning ‘Fewer and Friendlier Miles’ campaign, which has removed a total of 30 million truck miles from UK roads since launching in 2005.

Rob Wright, Head of Distribution, United Biscuits comments: “It is estimated that 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. We firmly believe that this approach and technology is scalable and we hope to set a precedent that other organisations will follow. We are open to working with suppliers, customers and competitors to share our experiences and expertise.”