Supermarket chain Lidl is set to be the first retailer in UK and Ireland to operate a fully green transport fleet, in partnership with award winning McCulla Transport, with eight new delivery trucks being powered by bio-methane gas.
From the waste collected from all 41 Lidl stores across Northern Ireland, McCulla will create the bio-methane at its anaerobic digester plant in Lisburn which already produces the company’s own electricity to power its cold stores.
Lidl says the move will deliver improved efficiencies and reduce its trucks’ carbon emissions by up to 93 per cent.
Conor Boyle, regional director of Lidl Northern Ireland, said: “We’re thrilled to now be the first supermarket retailer to successfully integrate the first waste-to-energy sustainable transport model.
“McCulla’s fleet covers more than 2,300 road miles per day, ensuring the safe and timely delivery of fresh and chilled foods to more than 300,000 weekly customers across our regional store network. We’re proud to work alongside McCulla to pave the way for the sector and for Northern Ireland in driving a cleaner, greener economy through responsible business practice.”
Ashley McCulla, chairman of McCulla, added: “Our ultimate goal was always to use energy produced from our AD plant to power our own fleet of trucks. Working with Lidl, we’ve delivered on that ambition and we’re honoured to be part of a real first for the industry, and for Northern Ireland.”
And said Economy Minister Diane Dodds: “This is another tangible step in Northern Ireland leadership in decarbonising our energy system, in this instance in the ground-breaking displacement of fossil fuel in our transport sector. It is also a concrete example of the circular economy in action, which is an important part of our green economic recovery.”
Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots added: “This demonstrates how industries can work together cohesively to deliver practical solutions for businesses, consumers and communities, and I applaud McCulla and Lidl Northern Ireland for their work in realising this ambition. This is good for our climate, will create green jobs and will benefit our environment.”