Sep 1, 2015

Anheuser-Busch expands its natural gas fleet to St. Louis

Admin
3 min
For many companies looking to increase cost savings while reducing their carbon footprint, converting logistics fleets from diesel to compressed natu...

For many companies looking to increase cost savings while reducing their carbon footprint, converting logistics fleets from diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG) is becoming an increasingly appealing option. Last year Anheuser-Busch made its first foray into the world of CNG, converting its fleet of 66 diesel distribution trucks to natural gas at its Houston facility. Now, based on the success of that initial conversion, the beer giant is expanding its corporate social responsibility efforts with a full fleet conversion from diesel to natural gas at its home base in St. Louis.

RELATED CONTENT: Natural gas vehicles receive President's support

According to a statement released by Anheuser-Busch, this change could reduce the St. Louis-based brewing company’s carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 2,500 tons per year as they travel an average of 11 million miles per year delivering beer from the St. Louis facility throughout the Midwest. This estimate isn’t based on pure conjecture but a year of observed experience—last year Anheuser-Busch completed a similar transition at its Houston brewery, converting 66 diesel trucks to natural gas. Anheuser-Busch predicts that this even larger conversion will provide an even stronger environmental benefit:

“Transitioning our entire St. Louis tractor fleet to CNG-powered engines brings environmental benefits directly to our company and our community,” said James Sembrot, Senior Director, Transportation, Anheuser-Busch, in a press release from the company. “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.”

RELATED CONTENT: Is Natural Gas the Next Generation of Vehicle Fuel in America?

Environmental benefits are hugely important to Anheuser-Busch right now: as reported at our sister publication FDF World, the brewing company also recently launched a drought relief-focused corporate social responsibility campaign through its brand Shock Top. But in addition to environmental benefits, there are additional benefits to CNG conversion that will also make this move worth Anheuser-Busch’s while. At the recent Pipeline and Energy Expo in Tulsa this week, experts asserted that while there is cost up front in the conversion process, businesses making the switch from traditional fuel to compressed natural gas could see massive savings in fuel and maintenance costs.

In the meantime, the move is also making a good impression on Anheuser-Busch’s home town. “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 in Anheuser-Busch’s press release. “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.”

To get more in depth, check out Anheuser-Busch’s video going in depth on its emissions solutions plans below:

 

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Jun 25, 2021

UK must stop blundering into high carbon choices warns CCC

climatechange
Energy
Netzero
UK
Dominic Ellis
5 min
The UK must put an end to a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices warns the Climate Change Committee

The UK Government must end a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices, according to the Climate Change Committee as it released 200 policy recommendations in a progress to Parliament update.

While the rigour of the Climate Change Act helped bring COP26 to the UK, it is not enough for Ministers to point to the Glasgow summit and hope that this will carry the day with the public, the Committee warns. Leadership is required, detail on the steps the UK will take in the coming years, clarity on tax changes and public spending commitments, as well as active engagement with people and businesses across the country.

"It it is hard to discern any comprehensive strategy in the climate plans we have seen in the last 12 months. There are gaps and ambiguities. Climate resilience remains a second-order issue, if it is considered at all. We continue to blunder into high-carbon choices. Our Planning system and other fundamental structures have not been recast to meet our legal and international climate commitments," the update states. "Our message to Government is simple: act quickly – be bold and decisive."

The UK’s record to date is strong in parts, but it has fallen behind on adapting to the changing climate and not yet provided a coherent plan to reduce emissions in the critical decade ahead, according to the Committee.

  • Statutory framework for climate The UK has a strong climate framework under the Climate Change Act (2008), with legally-binding emissions targets, a process to integrate climate risks into policy, and a central role for independent evidence-based advice and monitoring. This model has inspired similarclimate legislation across the world.
     
  • Emissions targets The UK has adopted ambitious territorial emissions targets aligned to the Paris Agreement: the Sixth Carbon Budget requires an emissions reduction of 63% from 2019 to 2035, on the way to Net Zero by 2050. These are comprehensive targets covering all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including international aviation and shipping.
     
  • Emissions reduction The UK has a leading record in reducing its own emissions: down by 40% from 1990 to 2019, the largest reduction in the G20, while growing the economy (GDP increased by 78% from 1990 to 2019). The rate of reductions since 2012 (of around 20 MtCO2e annually) is comparable to that needed in the future.
     
  • Climate Risk and Adaptation The UK has undertaken three comprehensive assessments of the climate risks it faces, and the Government has published plans for adapting to those risks. There have been some actions in response, notably in tackling flooding and water scarcity, but overall progress in planning and delivering adaptation is not keeping up with increasing risk. The UK is less prepared for the changing climate now than it was when the previous risk assessment was published five years ago.
     
  • Climate finance The UK has been a strong contributor to international climate finance, having recently doubled its commitment to £11.6 billion in aggregate over 2021/22 to 2025/26. This spend is split between support for cutting emissions and support for adaptation, which is important given significant underfunding of adaptation globally. However, recent cuts to the UK’s overseas aid are undermining these commitments.

In a separate comment, it said the Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan was an important statement of ambition, but it has yet to be backed with firm policies. 

Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee said: “The UK is leading in diagnosis but lagging in policy and action. This cannot be put off further. We cannot deliver Net Zero without serious action on adaptation. We need action now, followed by a National Adaptation Programme that must be more ambitious; more comprehensive; and better focussed on implementation than its predecessors, to improve national resilience to climate change.”

Priority recommendations for 2021 include setting out capacity and usage requirements for Energy from Waste consistent with plans to improve recycling and waste prevention, and issue guidance to align local authority waste contracts and planning policy to these targets; develop (with DIT) the option of applying either border carbon tariffs or minimum standards to imports of selected embedded-emission-intense industrial and agricultural products and fuels; and implement a public engagement programme about national adaptation objectives, acceptable levels of risk, desired resilience standards, how to address inequalities, and responsibilities across society. 

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner said the report is another reminder that if the UK is to meet its ambitious climate targets there is an urgent need to scale up bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

"As the world’s leading generator and supplier of sustainable bioenergy there is no better place to deliver BECCS at scale than at Drax in the UK. We are ready to invest in and deliver this world-leading green technology, which would support clean growth in the north of England, create tens of thousands of jobs and put the UK at the forefront of combatting climate change."

Drax Group is kickstarting the planning process to build a new underground pumped hydro storage power station – more than doubling the electricity generating capacity at its iconic Cruachan facility in Scotland. The 600MW power station will be located inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain – and increase the site’s total capacity to 1.04GW (click here).

Lockdown measures led to a record decrease in UK emissions in 2020 of 13% from the previous year. The largest falls were in aviation (-60%), shipping (-24%) and surface transport (-18%). While some of this change could persist (e.g. business travellers accounted for 15-25% of UK air passengers before the pandemic), much is already rebounding with HGV and van travel back to pre-pandemic levels, while car use, which at one point was down by two-thirds, only 20% below pre-pandemic levels.

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