Procter & Gamble will work with eight transportation carriers to convert up to 20 percent of its North America truck load shipments to natural gas vehicles within two years beginning in July.
The company expects this initiative will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 5,000 metric tons.
The initial phase will convert about 7 percent of the company’s North America for-hire transportation network. This will be delivered in 16 states with an average length of haul more than 280 miles, including two 1,000-mile truck lanes. Some brands to now be delivered by natural gas powered trucks include Bounty, Ivory, Charmin, Dawn, Gain, Downy and Tide.
The use of for-hire transportation carriers for natural gas in the market will enable P&G to use them on longer routes than is the average in the dedicated fleet model, while supporting the growth of public natural gas refueling stations, the company says. High capital costs of vehicles and limited fueling stations are often barriers to growth for the natural gas industry. P&G says its commitment helps to remove the obstacles to natural gas becoming mainstream for large-scale shipments.
The number of natural gas vehicles on roadways worldwide will reach nearly 35 million by 2020, according to a Navigant Research report published earlier this week.
P&G’s for-hire natural gas carrier arrangement is in addition to the company’s 22 natural gas vehicles. In other efforts to increase sustainable logistics, the company says it’s bringing distribution centers closer to its customer and ensuring trucks are fully utilized in both directions. Globally, the company is moving from truck to rail and inland shipping, which according to P&G data is up to four times less carbon intensive.
Last month, P&G said it will convert its battery-operated forklift fleets at three facilities to ones powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
New York-based Plug Power, which has Walmart, Sysco and Coca-Cola as customers, will supply the technology. P&G’s manufacturing facilities in California, North Carolina and Louisiana will be the first three sites to use the hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts. More than 200 forklifts will have their batteries replaced with hydrogen fuel cells. Other sites are being studied for future conversions, P&G said.