Anheuser-Busch, the Fleet Owner 2015 Green Fleet of the Year, announced today that it is converting its entire St. Louis truck fleet to compressed natural gas. It is the second full facility conversion for the company.
The company will replace 97 diesel-powered tractors with Freightliner CNG vehicles, displacing some 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 23%.
The brewer had previously replaced 66 diesel-powered vehicles in its Houston operations last year. At the time, James Sembrot, senior director-transportation for Anheuser-Busch, told Fleet Owner that the Houston operation was likely the first of several possible conversions with St. Louis to follow and also possibly Columbus, OH.
“Transitioning our entire St. Louis tractor fleet to CNG-powered engines brings environmental benefits directly to our company and our community,” Sembrot, said in a release announcing the St. Louis transition. “A conversion of this scale is indicative of the commitment we’ve made to deploying more sustainable technologies and processes at each stage of the brewing process – from Seed to Sip.”
The Seed to Sip program focuses on all areas of Anheuser-Busch’s operations from agriculture to its breweries and packaging to distributing its products. This includes growing barley with less water, recycling and reuse activities, and adding watersheds in all cities where the company’s breweries are located. These efforts have resulted in significant milestones, including a 32% reduction in water usage in the past five years.
With the St. Louis conversion, approximately 30% of Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. heavy-haul fleet is operating on natural gas. The St. Louis fleet covers about 11 million mi. per year in the Midwest.
“I want to thank Anheuser-Busch for setting an example for businesses across the city by committing to environmentally-friendly business practices,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “With Anheuser-Busch identifying and implementing sustainable alternatives, the company is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make St. Louis a better place for all of us to live, work and play.”
The tractors will be fueled at a recently opened U.S. Gain CNG station near the St. Louis brewery. The vehicles will be leased through Element and managed by J.B. Hunt as part of a dedicated operation. Agility Fuel Systems will provide logistical support for the systems, which maintenance of the vehicles provided by Amerit.