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US Foodservice San Francisco begins using biodiesel

US Foodservice–San Francisco, which says it is the only green-certified broadline food distributor in California, is now running its entire delivery fleet on biodiesel fuel.

All of the San Francisco division’s 136 tractors and 148 trailers began using B5 fuel in January. B5 is a blend of diesel containing 5% biodiesel, a form of diesel fuel made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant greases. (In this case, the 5% is soybean oil.) Biodiesel is a sustainable, renewable alternative to diesel fuel that can reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions.

“We take our commitment as a green-certified business very seriously,” said Phil Collins, president of US Foodservice–San Francisco. “That means that reducing our environmental footprint is a key component of our business strategy. We must not only set the example as a good environmental citizen, but also help our customers to do the same.”

Biodiesel fuel costs on average about two cents more per gallon than diesel fuel. Its use is expected to reduce the US Foodservice–San Francisco fleet’s carbon dioxide emissions by 333 metric tons—or 734,000 pounds—annually. That’s roughly the equivalent of taking 65 cars off the road or planting more than 3,000 trees every year.

The biodiesel is locally sourced and refined, a product of Western States Oil of San Jose CA.

US Foodservice–San Francisco, which serves Northern California from Monterey to Redding, has been experimenting with the alternative fuel source since 2006. Other environmentally responsible activities and achievements already being made at the division include:

•Reducing electrical consumption by 37% by using T8 fluorescent lamps in its warehouse operations.

•Decreasing landfill waste by more than one million pounds since 2007.

•Increasing recycling of materials such as cardboard, paper, and shrink wrap since 2006.

•Recycling water from refrigeration units.

•Landscaping with drought-resistant foliage.

San Francisco is the fourth US Foodservice division to use biodiesel in its fleet. It joins divisions in Atlanta GA, Streator IL, and Plymouth MN.

US Foodservice offers more than 43,000 national, private label, and signature brand items and an array of services to its more than 250,000 customers. The company employs 25,000 associates in more than 60 locations nationwide. For more details, visit www.usfoodservice.com.

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