U.S. Gain, Unilever to build IL CNG station

U.S. Gain, the compressed natural gas (CNG) division of U.S. Venture, has partnered with Unilever to build a GAIN Clean Fueling CNG fueling station in Edwardsville, IL, just east of the St. Louis, MO, metro area. The station will be located at 4120 Lakeview Corporate Drive and will be the largest GAIN Clean Fuel station U.S. Gain has built to date, the company said. 

“This partnership establishes a relationship between GAIN Clean Fuel and Unilever, one of the top consumer packaged goods companies in the world,” said Bill Renz, general manager for U.S. Gain. “We’re excited to be helping such a recognizable brand achieve its sustainability goals.” The agreement calls for Unilever to purchase 800,000 gallons of GAIN Clean Fuel CNG per year.

“The Edwardsville station not only gives Unilever’s carriers a strategic fueling location, but contributes to Unilever’s commitment to reduce its impact on the environment and improve its sustainability efforts,” the company said. “Unilever’s North America headquarters are located in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, and globally, Unilever tops the Dow Jones 2014 Sustainability Indices. One of the product maker’s goals is to improve the health and well-being of a billion people on the planet by the year 2020 and, for this reason, is beginning to utilize GAIN CNG.”

“We’ve made significant investments to reduce our costs while lowering our environmental footprint by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, water use, and waste.” said Camille Z. Chammas, VP procurement at Unilever. “We focus on energy reduction in our own manufacturing operations and also with our suppliers. The use of GAIN Clean Fuel is important part of this program.”

CNG produces less emission than its diesel fuel equivalent, the company said, adding that it also provides a cost savings when compared with the diesel fuel equivalent and is domestically produced, which insulates it from the price volatility inherent in other fuel options.

Unilever this month announced that it had already saved 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in its factory network.

“We’re looking forward to helping Unilever achieve its environmental improvement goals,” Renz said. “GAIN’s partnerships are generally with carriers and it’s great to partner with a shipper that realizes the value in using CNG.”

“It’s more than just saving money. For Unilever, it’s about being good stewards of the environment,” Renz added.

Unilever’s decision to incorporate CNG into its logistics network was led by recommendations from Breakthrough Fuel, a supply chain management and transportation advisory firm. Breakthrough Fuel President Doug Mueller highlighted Unilever’s commitment to alternative fuel applications. 

"Breakthrough Fuel has had the privilege to work with Unilever on their transportation energy management strategy since 2012,” Mueller said. “Our unique approach to managing movement level detail has allowed us to model and analyze opportunities and build a business case for Unilever’s CNG conversion strategy.”

Bringing together GAIN and Unilever will benefit both the sustainability and optimization strategies for both organizations, the company said. “We are proud to be a part of this initiative,” Mueller added.

With the addition of the St. Louis area location, U.S. Gain continues to work towards its goal of having more than 100 GAIN Clean Fuel stations in operation through North America within the next two years. The Edwardsville location will open in June and will be available for use by other companies and the general public.

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