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UB Goes Down Sustainability Route With Cooking Oil Fuelled Trucks
United Biscuits (UB), the leading international manufacturer of biscuits and cakes, has developed an industry leading sustainability initiative through the use of waste cooking oil to power 12 of its lorry fleet.
Estimated to save up to 97% in CO2 emissions, compared to traditional diesel fuel, the pioneering project forms part of the company’s multi-award winning ‘Fewer and Friendlier Miles’ campaign. Since the launch of the campaign in 2006, it has removed 20 million truck miles from UK roads.
The waste vegetable oil, a by-product from snacks manufacturing, is processed into Ultra Biofuel and the adapted lorry fleet are set to recycle 500 tonnes of waste cooking oil a year. The industry first project is the result of a partnership with Convert2Green (formerly Biomotive Fuels) to develop an engine modification across UB’s lorry fleet which has allowed its trucks to be 100% fuelled by waste oils.
The partnership, which began in 2011 following two years of initial investigations by UB into alternative fuels, has also resulted in the use of new biofuel vehicle management systems from German company Bioltec in 10 of its Mercedes tractor units currently being used nationwide. As part of the project, a 30,000-litre heated re-fuelling station has been installed at UB’s Ashby depot.
UB now plans to roll out the project further across the business and has recently converted two of its brand new Euro VI vehicles to run on Ultra Biofuel.
The move to Ultra Biofuel is the latest in a series of commitments by the leading food manufacturer to reduce carbon emissions across its logistics operations, which have already seen a reduction of 40% since 2006. The project will sit alongside other sustainability initiatives by UB including the recent introduction of 62 longer trailers, which are projected to save 450,000 truck miles on UK roads each year.
Rob Wright, Head of Distribution, United Biscuits commented: “The benefits of recycling waste cooking oil from our food factories into Ultra Biofuel is another step along United Biscuits’ green journey, which has already seen us make significant gains in reducing carbon emissions across our logistics business.
“It is estimated 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.”
£11m Up For Grabs In Improving Food Supply Chain Efficiency Competition
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) welcomes the announcement from Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), who will invest up to £11 million into new business projects to improve the resource efficiency and resilience of the UK food and drink supply chain.
The competition “Improving food supply chain efficiency” for collaborative research and development projects opens on 13 October.
With the increasing pressures the industry faces to produce more from less with less resource, this new competition fund will enable the industry to be in the driving seat of delivering improvements throughout the supply chain e.g. through the reduction of waste, using resources such as energy, water and raw materials more efficiently or improving the productivity of food manufacturing and processing operations.
This new fund provides an opportunity to grow the UK’s food engineering capability, through the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE) at Sheffield Hallam University, by bring together industry and academia to research and develop new and improved resource efficient solutions for the sector.
The competition is open for applications from 13 October until noon on 3 December and a webinar for potential applications will be held on 15 October.
Gavin Darby CEO of Premier Foods and Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board for the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University said: "Access to this fund will support new and innovative engineering solutions that will help improve the industry's competitiveness and ultimately deliver better resource efficiency. The Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering will play an important role as a hub for industry collaboration to address a range of industry-wide challenges."
Melanie Leech, Director General at Food and Drink Federation said: “I am delighted the importance of the food industry has been recognised through this major new investment, which will allow businesses to collaborate to find industry-wide innovative engineering solutions, creating a more resilient and resource-efficient food and drink manufacturing supply chain. Through initiatives such as this fund and the development of the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University, industry will be able to unlock its growth potential and drive competitive advantage.”
Reducing Supply Chain Costs With New Plastic Pallet
Polymer Logistics next generation of produce pallets has just been launched and is set to challenge its wooden pallet rival head on.
Targeted to be a real alternative to wood, Polymer Logistics have engineered the new pallet to deliver not only flexibility in load carrying and space saving, but also cost savings in the supply chain.
Manufactured from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is well known for its large strength to density ratio, the Produce Pallet is tough enough to cope with the rigours of the supply chain such as mishandling. As it is manufactured from HDPE, the Produce Pallet is washable thus making it more hygienic than the wood alternative.
Available in 1200x1000x162, the Produce Pallet really comes into its own when it comes to nesting capabilities. Essentially the produce pallets fit inside each other thus they are nestable. This means that more can be stacked in one space compared to the wood equivalent, which sit upon each other rather than in. This is vital in today’s backroom space-limited retail environments.
When it comes to the return of empty produce pallets, the nestable feature again has a significant benefit. As retailers seek to reduce transport costs due to the price of fuel, it’s essential that the space inside the lorry be optimised. In reality the more that can be accommodated on one load the lower the fuel costs. It’s possible to accommodate up to 3 times more produce pallets on one lorry compared to the wood alternative. This delivers that much needed saving in fuel costs.
The new pallet deck features marked moulded locations with recessed grooves for Maxinest produce crates. This helps with the stability of the load when stacked, thus reducing damages and spoilt costs! What’s more the new pallet is half the weight of the wood equivalent thus enabling just one person to lift. This helps with reducing work related injuries.