Loblaw’s hybrid Class 8 pilot project underway (August 26, 2010)

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BRAMPTON, Ont. — Loblaw Companies Limited has become the first Canadian retailer to pilot a hybrid Class 8 truck in an effort to improve fuel efficiency and reduce the fleet’s carbon footprint. The company has set a target to improve the fuel efficiency of its corporate transport fleet by 2% compared to its 2009 level.

Loblaw is currently evaluating the hybrid truck’s fuel efficiency throughout the company’s urban transportation routes in Ontario. The pilot, which has been underway since July, aims to measure the potential benefits that hybrid technology could have for the company’s fleet.

“We constantly challenge ourselves in all areas of our business against our corporate social responsibility principles. The hybrid truck pilot is one of the many initiatives undertaken in our supply chain to meet our fuel economy goals for 2010. We believe we are on the right track to once again lower fuel consumption and carbon emissions associated with the transportation of goods to our stores,” said Robert Wiebe, senior vice-president of supply chain for Loblaw Companies Limited.

Officials say the outcome of the pilot will help to determine the number of trucks within the company’s corporate fleet that can be replaced with hybrid technology in coming years. Additional initiatives Loblaw has undertaken to improve fuel efficiency include the use of biodiesel, reducing truck idling times, installing side fairings on trailers and the use of multi-axle trailers to increase the weight each truck can haul.

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