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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 December 2006, 12:19 GMT
Tesco to run fleet on green fuel
Tesco petrol pump selling a petrol-biofuel mix
Tesco offers shoppers biofuels from its petrol station forecourts
Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain, has announced plans to run three quarters of its delivery fleet on biodiesel from January next year.

The retailer is the latest to look at ways of reducing the impact its business has on the UK environment.

Tesco said it will run its 2,000 trucks and vans on a 50% biodiesel mix to cut the greenhouse gases they produce.

Biofuels are gaining in popularity and are made from crops like wheat, and are often blended with petrol or diesel.

Ordinary cars can run on blends of 5% biofuel and 95% petrol, a blend that is becoming more widespread at service stations across the UK.

Specially enabled biofuel cars, like the Ford Focus flex-fuel or the Saab Biopower, can run on a mix of 85% bioethanol and 15% petrol.

'20,000 cars'

Tesco said that using the 50% biodiesel mix would see it cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70,000 tonnes per year.

"This is enough greenhouse gas to fill over 1.5 billion balloons, 15,000 swimming pools or 400 Albert Halls," Tesco said.

It added that the drop in emissions was the equivalent to removing "over 20,000 medium sized cars from the road" when calculated over the full span of the delivery fleet's working life.

Many of the UK's largest companies are having to look at how they affect the environment and are facing pressure from consumers to become greener in how they do business.

Demand for organic, locally produced foods and lower emission fuels has been on the increase, and while sales still account for a fraction of annual revenues it is seen as a growing and profitable market by retail analysts and executives.

"We're experiencing a huge demand for more environmentally friendly fuels and are committed to driving down carbon dioxide emissions," said Laurie McIIwee, director of distribution at Tesco.

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