// John Lewis Partnership steps up its net zero carbon commitment with plans to stop using fossil fuels across transport fleet by 2030
// It is also building a dedicated biomethane gas filling station for Waitrose heavy trucks to use
// Partnership has also ordered a further 143 biomethane trucks
John Lewis Partnership is stepping up its commitment to reducing carbon emissions with plans to stop using fossil fuels across its entire 4800-strong transport fleet by 2030.
To achieve this, it plans to introduce 1750 electric vans and light trucks and have approximately 750 refrigerated trailers converted from diesel to electric drive.
In addition, the partnership’s 1300-strong car fleet would become 100 per cent electric and any remaining vehicles that could not be converted to biomethane or electric will use hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) biodiesel.
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The parent company of Waitrose and John Lewis also said it was building a dedicated biomethane gas filling station to enable its largest heavy goods vehicles to use a low-carbon alternative to diesel.
Eighty-five of the partnership’s heavy diesel vehicles have been replaced with biomethane trucks since 2015, and a further 143 will be purchased and in operation by the end of this year.
The new biomethane gas filling station will be built in conjunction with Air Liquide and will open at the John Lewis Partnership’s head office in Bracknell in December, making it the business’s first on-site gas filling station.
It will facilitate the conversion of the Bracknell Waitrose fleet to biomethane and complement gas filling stations already in use near John Lewis and Waitrose regional distribution centres in Leyland, Lancashire, and in Northampton.
Serving approximately 120 Waitrose heavy goods trucks, the vehicles will run on biomethane made from food waste and waste materials rather than diesel.
This will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent, with each truck saving over 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
These gas trucks are also much quieter, and over the next seven years, the Bracknell site alone will save over 70,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the carbon footprint produced by over 13,000 UK households.
“The evidence of climate change is all around us, so it’s important we act now using available technology rather than wait for unproven solutions to appear,” John Lewis Partnership central transport general manager Justin Laney said.
“We are working hard towards our new aim of removing all fossil fuel from our transport fleet by 2030, which will reduce our carbon emissions by over half a million tonnes and gets us well on the way to our ultimate target of operating a net zero carbon emission fleet.”
In March 2019, the John Lewis Partnership pledged to be net zero carbon across its entire operations by 2050 at the latest and its 600 heavy goods vehicles to be switched to low-carbon biomethane by 2028.
The retail group said that since last year, it has reduced its total operational carbon emissions by 6.6 per cent and emissions from transport have fallen by 6.9 per cent.
In addition to reducing transport carbon emissions, the company is also reducing the carbon emissions produced by its shops, with refrigeration units used in Waitrose being replaced.
Hydro fluoro carbon (HFC) – the greenhouse gases used in cooling systems – are currently being switched to HFC-free refrigerators and this will be completed by 2028.