Unilever’s logistics organisation in Europe is creating a more sustainable operation with the introduction of trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). While the fuel itself is viable, Europe’s roads don’t yet offer a sufficiently large network of LNG fuelling stations. So Paul de Jong, Logistics Transformation & Innovation Director and his team embarked on a unique collaborative project, setting up a Unilever-led consortium – known as Connect2LNG – to build five LNG fuelling stations in France and Germany, where the infrastructure gaps are greatest.
Paul de Jong explains why Unilever selected LNG fuel: “LNG offers a carbon dioxide reduction of 11.5% and a 35% reduction of the smog-causing chemicals, nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions, compared to diesel. Where it gets really interesting is the way LNG cuts fine particulates – the tiny particles linked to heart and respiratory illness – by 95%, and noise levels by up to 50%.”
“With Connect2LNG, we’re working with partners from across the value chain, including logistics companies, infrastructure companies and manufacturers,” says Mark Rickhoff, Logistics Transformation & Innovation Manager. “We’re taking a step towards the overall reshaping the road freight industry in Europe, working towards a sustainable transportation future.”
The European Commission offered 50% of the funding required to make the Connect2LNG project happen. Its investment of €9 million (USD 9.8m) confirmed that a network of LNG filling stations was meeting a major need in logistics.
Unilever sees LNG is a transition fuel to a cleaner future that includes renewable natural gas.