Anheuser-Busch has announced it is replacing its 66 diesel tractor fleet in Houston with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered tractors. This marks the beer company’s first conversion of an entire brewery fleet and represents a significant milestone in achieving its goal to reduce carbon emissions.
“The next-generation CNG engine technology paired with support from state incentive programs contributed to our ability to take such a significant step in fully converting our Houston fleet,” said James Sembrot, Senior Director of Transportation at Anheuser-Busch. “Houston is a strategic choice due to the central location to our facilities and distribution radius, as well as its proximity to fueling stations.”
Anheuser-Busch is now one of only a few large, heavy-haul shippers to convert a fleet to alternative fuel power vehicles. The CNG conversion comes as the 2014 football season kicks off one of the company’s busiest shipping periods of the year — with an estimated 17 million cases of beer shipped by the Houston fleet during the third quarter. Through the advanced engine technology, the fleet is expected to eliminate 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year when adjusting emissions reduction for consumption rates.
"The city of Houston was an early leader in the pursuit of cleaner, greener energy options,” said Mayor Parker. “It is encouraging to see one of our major companies taking a major step forward in this area. Cleaner technologies benefit all Houstonians because they help improve the air we breathe."
Earlier this summer, as part of its “Seed to Sip” environmental platform, the company added eight new environmental goals, including one to reduce carbon emissions in its logistics operations from network planning, transportation and warehousing by 15 percent by the end of 2017.
The CNG conversion represents significant business and environmental benefits for Anheuser-Busch. Working with transportation partner Ryder, the 12-liter lighter-weight engines are expected to emit 23 percent less greenhouse gases (compared to diesel), which is the equivalent of taking approximately 420 passenger vehicles off the road.
“We commend the Anheuser-Busch team for their leadership and decision to convert their entire Houston brewery fleet to cleaner, more efficient natural gas,” said Dennis Cooke, President, Global Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder. “We are honored that Anheuser-Busch has trusted Ryder as its leasing and maintenance partner to help take this important step toward reducing the environmental impact of their fleet.”