U.S. Gain: Announces agreement with Unilever

Unilever’s sustainability efforts will include GAIN® Clean Fuel

Appleton, WI – U.S. Gain, the compressed natural gas (CNG) division of U.S. Venture, has partnered with Unilever to build a GAIN® Clean Fueling CNG fueling station in Edwardsville, Illinois, just east of the St. Louis, Missouri metro area. The station will be located at 4120 Lakeview Corporate Drive and will be the largest GAIN Clean Fuel station U.S. Gain has built to date.

“This partnership establishes a relationship between GAIN Clean Fuel and Unilever, one of the top consumer packaged goods companies in the world,” said Bill Renz, general manager for U.S. Gain. “We’re excited to be helping such a recognizable brand achieve its sustainability goals.” The agreement calls for Unilever to purchase 800,000 gallons of GAIN Clean Fuel CNG per year.

The Edwardsville station not only gives Unilever’s carriers a strategic fueling location, but contributes to Unilever’s commitment to reduce its impact on the environment and improve its sustainability efforts. Unilever’s North America headquarters are located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and globally, Unilever tops the Dow Jones 2014 Sustainability Indices. One of the product maker’s goals is to improve the health and well-being of a billion people on the planet by the year 2020 and, for this reason, is beginning to utilize GAIN CNG.

“We’ve made significant investments to reduce our costs while lowering our environmental footprint by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, water use, and waste.” said Camille Z. Chammas, VP Procurement at Unilever. “We focus on energy reduction in our own manufacturing operations and also with our suppliers. The use of GAIN Clean Fuel is important part of this program.”

CNG produces less emission than its diesel fuel equivalent. It also provides a cost savings when compared with the diesel fuel equivalent and is domestically produced, which insulates it from the price volatility inherent in other fuel options.

Unilever this month announced that it had already saved 1 million tonnes of CO2 in its factory network. Energy consumption has been reduced by 20 percent – the same energy used to run 40 factories or the equivalent in carbon of over 800,000 acres of forest in one year. This has also resulted in significant cost savings of €244m.

“We’re looking forward to helping Unilever achieve its environmental improvement goals,” Renz said. “GAIN’s partnerships are generally with carriers and it’s great to partner with a shipper that realizes the value in using CNG.” Many carriers are converting their fleets to CNG to remain competitive but, as a shipper, Unilever’s agreement is a paradigm shift for the CNG industry. “It’s more than just saving money. For Unilever, it’s about being good stewards of the environment,” Renz added.

Unilever’s decision to incorporate CNG into its logistics network was led by recommendations from Breakthrough®Fuel, a supply chain management and transportation advisory firm. Breakthrough®Fuel President Doug Mueller highlighted Unilever’s commitment to alternative fuel applications.

“Breakthrough®Fuel has had the privilege to work with Unilever on their transportation energy management strategy since 2012,” Mueller said.  “Our unique approach to managing movement level detail has allowed us to model and analyze opportunities and build a business case for Unilever’s CNG conversion strategy.” Bringing together GAIN and Unilever will benefit both the sustainability and optimization strategies for both organizations. “We are proud to be a part of this initiative,” Mueller added.

With the addition of the St. Louis area location, U.S. Gain continues to work towards its goal of having more than 100 GAIN® Clean Fuel stations in operation through North America within the next two years. The Edwardsville location will open in June 2015 and will be available for use by other companies and the general public.