PROVIDENCE, RI – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) today announced the addition of 53 all-electric refrigerated transport trailers (TRUs) to its fleet located at the company’s distribution center in Riverside, Calif. . This effort is part of UNFI’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda, Better for All 2030, and the company’s bold commitments to take innovative action on social and environmental issues. global organizations that are helping to transform the future of food. The company is one of the first wholesalers to use the innovative technology and comes as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in January announced plans to impose zero-emission requirements on TRUs sold or operated in California from here. December 31, 2029.
The all-electric TRU achieves zero-emission results using a high-efficiency refrigeration system powered by roof-mounted 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 dispense 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 all-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% of UNFI’s direct greenhouse gas emissions come from our fleet of trucks and trailers. These 53 all-electric TRUs will help us get a head start on CARB’s proposed zero emission requirements and should allow us to reduce our emissions as we move forward. our climate action commitments as part of Better For All“said Jeff Wismans, National Director of Fleet Operations at UNFI.” The addition of these TRUs comes after a comprehensive 4-month pilot test of the equipment under various conditions with the goal 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 perspective on the management of our operations and the search for additional efficiencies.
To help reduce the cost of retrofitting the diesel-powered TRU, PLM requested and received vouchers on behalf of UNFI as part of 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 providing a streamlined coupon process to offset the higher cost of these technologies.
About United Natural Foods
UNFI is North America’s premier food wholesaler with the widest variety of products at customer locations across North America, including natural food superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and food service customers. By offering this more comprehensive selection of ‘full stores’ and compelling brands for every aisle, UNFI is uniquely positioned to bring great food, more choice and fresh ideas 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.