Business

Lidl and McCulla launch fully green transport fleet

Pictured with one of the new trucks are Conor Boyle (left), regional director of Lidl NI, and Ashley McCulla, chairman of McCulla Transport

LIDL Northern Ireland has become the first retailer in the UK and Ireland to launch a fully green transport fleet powered by waste-to-energy generation, in partnership with Lisburn logistics company McCulla Transport.

The new fleet of eight bio-methane powered trucks marks the first significant business integration between the transport and retail sector in the north and is a major step forward in the region's move to slash carbon emissions.

Using food waste collected from all 41 Lidl stores in the north, McCulla will start to create fully renewable bio-methane gas at its anaerobic digester (AD) plant in Lisburn to power a sustainable, next generation transport operation which then delivers produce to Lidl stores.

The new sustainable transport fleet will deliver improved efficiencies and reduce Lidl's carbon emissions of these vehicles by up to 93 per cent.

The retailer's Northern Ireland regional director Conor Boyle said: “This partnership underlines our commitment to developing sustainable and innovative solutions which create real impact in every area of our business.

“We're thrilled to now be the first supermarket retailer to successfully integrate the first waste-to-energy sustainable transport model.

“McCulla's fleet covers more than 2,300 road miles a day, ensuring the safe and timely delivery of fresh and chilled foods to more than 300,000 weekly customers across our regional store network.

“The introduction of this new ‘green fleet' operating on fully renewable bio-methane as its primary fuel source will save more than 93% in carbon emissions due per bio-methane truck.”

Ashley McCulla, chairman of McCulla, which has been working with Lidl for the last five years, said: “Since 2017 we've been producing all of our own electricity from an AD plant at our site in Lisburn but our ultimate goal was always to use that energy to power our logistics fleet as well. Working with Lidl, we've delivered on that ambition and we're honoured to be part of a real first for the industry, and for Northern Ireland.”

Economy Minister Diane Dodds, said: “I very much welcome the announcement by Lidl and McCulla Transport, which is another tangible step in Northern Ireland leadership in decarbonising our energy system, in this instance in the ground-breaking displacement of fossil fuel in our transport sector. It is also a concrete example of the circular economy in action, which is an important part of our green economic recovery.”

Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots added: “I am absolutely delighted to see the introduction of Northern Ireland's first green logistics fleet by one of our biggest supermarket retailers.

“Low emissions transport has been a long-term goal for many businesses and its widespread adoption is a key goal in helping us reach our goals for tackling climate change.

“This demonstrates how industries can work together cohesively to deliver practical solutions for businesses, consumers and communities, and I applaud McCulla and Lidl Northern Ireland for their work in realising this ambition. This is good for our climate, will create green jobs and will benefit our environment.”

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