Leading wholesale and retail group invests up to €11 million in rollout of natural gas fleet and other key sustainability initiatives
BWG is first FMCG Group to launch fleet of natural gas delivery vehicles, significantly reducing its carbon footprint
BWG Foods, one of Ireland’s leading wholesalers and retailers, has announced a major €11 million sustainability investment programme aimed at significantly decreasing the environmental footprint of its large-scale nationwide supply chain.
As part of the investment programme, BWG Foods has become the first FMCG group in the country to launch a fleet of CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles following an initial investment of more than €2 million in 14 new trucks along with supporting infrastructure. The Group has plans to extend its investment in CNG vehicles by an additional €6 million for a further 50 vehicles by 2025 as part of its wider supply chain sustainability programme.
BWG Foods operates one of the largest delivery fleets in the country with approximately 280 vehicles, which combined cover over 25 million kilometres per year. The Group’s new vehicles, which use natural gas as the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel, are currently generating C02 savings of up to 22 percent per truck. Each of BWG Foods’ new trucks will complete approximately 120,000 kilometres over the next 12 months, each truck saving at least 7-and-a-half tonnes of CO2 emissions in the process. When biogas becomes available for use, BWG Foods projects that CO2 emissions from its new delivery fleet will decrease by approximately 90 percent compared with today’s levels.
As part of its wider supply chain sustainability programme, BWG Foods is also implementing a number of operational efficiency projects that have already led to collective Co2 emission savings of 3,200 metric tonnes, including a re-routing programme which led to the reduction of more than 2.3 million kilometres travelled annually, and the increasing of individual delivery vehicle capacity by 15 percent, further reducing the number of journeys required.
BWG Foods has already invested €3 million in the rollout of LED and sensor lighting across the BWG Foods retail network, its nationwide Cash & Carry network and its 240,000 sq. ft. National Distribution Centre facility in Kilcarbery, reducing its overall carbon footprint by more than 3,000 tonnes of Co2 emissions. BWG Foods has also recently partnered with renewable energy efficiency company Enerpower for the rollout of solar panels across its branded retail network, with panels solar already successfully in operation in EUROSPAR Gortahork.
BWG Foods’ award-winning logistics division is amongst the largest in the country, supplying over 1,000 stores nationwide which together serve over one million people per day, along with a further 14,000 additional professional customers across the retail, foodservice and licensed sectors. The Group is a participant in the FTA Trucksafe programme which audits, reviews and documents fuel efficiencies within the commercial sector, providing data that facilitates a reduction in fuel consumption.
Commenting on the announcement at BWG Foods’ National Distribution Centre, which distributes over 25 million outbound cases per year, Willie O’Byrne, Managing Director, BWG Foods said, “Our focus in BWG Foods is to create an environmentally sustainable business that makes a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate. Today’s announcement is a significant statement of our intent to substantially reduce the environmental impact of our expansive nationwide supply chain operation. This announcement complements a number of other sustainability initiatives that we have launched at store level including energy, waste and plastic reduction programmes.”
Speaking following a fact-finding tour of BWG Foods’ National Distribution Centre, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin, T.D. said, “It’s very encouraging to see a major business like BWG Foods take a leadership position across industry with this exciting sustainability programme, which will significantly reduce the business’ environmental impact. I look forward to other companies taking inspiration from today’s announcement by making meaningful changes that will help protect our environment in the fight against climate change.”