PROVIDENCE, RI – (BUSINESS WIRE) – United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) today announced the addition of 53 fully electric refrigerated transport trailers (TRUs) to its fleet located at the company’s distribution center in Riverside, California. This effort is in line with UNFI’s Better for All 2030 environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda and the company’s bold commitments to take innovative action on global social and environmental issues that help transform future of food. The company is one of the first wholesalers to use this innovative technology and comes as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced in January its intention to impose zero-emission requirements on TRUs sold or operated in California from here. December 31, 2029.
The fully electric TRU achieves zero emission results using a high efficiency refrigeration system powered by rooftop photovoltaic solar panels, a wheel pulse generator, lithium-ion batteries and a unique auxiliary power unit to eliminate the need for diesel fuel to power the refrigeration system. Through this process, the refrigeration system provides multi-zone temperature settings with the ability to maintain a full load of frozen products from minus 10 to minus 20 degrees F throughout the distribution route.
To accomplish this work, UNFI is removing 53 of its diesel-powered TRUs from operations and using Advanced Energy Machines (AEM), a leader in refrigerated trailer electrification, to rebuild units to all-electric specifications. UNFI will lease TRUs through PLM Trailer Leasing for five years, as the company continues to explore how they fit into its operations. By operating fully electric TRUs, UNFI expects to save approximately 135,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year while reducing particulate matter emissions and greenhouse gas emissions.
“Almost 50 percent of UNFI’s direct greenhouse gas emissions come from our fleet of trucks and trailers. These 53 fully electric TRUs will help us get a head start on the zero emissions requirements offered by CARB and should allow us to reduce our emissions as we move forward. our climate action commitments as part of Better For AllSaid Jeff Wismans, National Director of Fleet Operations at UNFI. “The addition of these TRUs comes after an extensive 4-month pilot test of the equipment under various conditions with the intention of replacing diesel-powered TRUs. When we look at it from an operational point of view, we don’t change anything, but it gives us a new look at the management of our operations and the search for additional efficiency gains. ”
To help reduce the cost of modernizing the diesel-powered TRU, PLM requested and received vouchers on behalf of UNFI through the CARB Clean Off Road Equipment (CORE) voucher incentive project. CARB launched CORE in 2017 to accelerate the purchase of zero-emission cargo handling equipment in California by offering a streamlined voucher process to offset the higher cost of these technologies.
About United Natural Foods
UNFI is North America’s premier food wholesaler, offering the widest variety of products to customer locations across North America, including health food supermarkets, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, retailers. online and foodservice customers. By offering this deeper selection of ‘full stores’ and compelling brands for every aisle, UNFI is uniquely positioned to bring great food, more choice and a new way of thinking to customers around the world. Today, UNFI is the largest publicly traded grocery distributor in the United States. To learn more about how UNFI is advancing nutrition, visit www.unfi.com.