Sometimes lost in the land of alternative fuels, biodiesel remains a viable, and productive, fuel for many fleets looking to reduce their environmental footprint and expand their business relationships through cleaner vehicle options.
That has been the case for Illinois- based G&D Integrated. The for-hire carrier switched to biodiesel several years ago when its fuel supplier, Ag-Land FS Inc., made a recommendation.
“They were claiming that this product would not only cost us less money but would not result in any efficiency losses,” Vince Buonassi, group manager of transportation programs, says.
G&D started with a B11 blend (11% biodiesel, 79% diesel) before quickly moving up to B20—and the fuel performed each time. “What we observed was there was absolutely zero degradation in performance,” Buonassi says. There were also no performance issues in cold weather, in part due to working with a quality vendor, he explains. Ag-Land sources the fuel from Renewable Energy Group (REG).
“A company like REG has production facilities that make top-of-the-line, quality-controlled biodiesel,” he says. “And they’re sourcing different forms of feedstock that go through testing before being converted to the end product.”
G&D’s operation includes transportation, warehousing, distribution and logistics services. On the transportation side, it offers point-to-point hauling, dedicated contract carriage, ocean container drayage, and freight brokerage. The entire fleet is made up of some 430 vehicles that travel up to 26 million mi. per year.
The use of biodiesel has also helped drive the business case for using G&D services. “We’ve noticed that there are more and more customers asking us to participate in their sustainability efforts,” Buonassi says. “We’ve actually been awarded freight based on our biodiesel usage.”
Buonassi also notes that the fleet’s relationship with East Coast ports has been enhanced. “Many of our customers analyze their entire supply chain for environmental impact, and some have even gone as far as to incorporate sustainability into their purchasing departments,” he says.
The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from G&D’s use of biodiesel is equal to nearly 230,000 fewer gallons of gasoline consumed each year, according to the calculations from the B20 Club, which is a joint effort conducted by the Illinois Soybean Assn. and the American Lung Assn. Particulate matter has been reduced by 2,854 lbs. annually.