Biodiesel Driving Business to National Fleet

The sustainability trend has swept across the transportation and fuel industries in recent years. Biodiesel has helped G&D Integrated, a for-hire carrier, meet its own environmental goals and win business. 

Helping the Environment and Profits

G&D Integrated has found that sustainability is not only about its own goals, but also what it can do to meet its customers’ goals to be environmentally friendly.

“We’ve noticed that there are more and more customers asking us to participate in their sustainability efforts,” says Vince Buonassi, group manager of transportation programs at the for-hire carrier. “We’ve actually been awarded freight based on our biodiesel usage.”

Those customers are found worldwide and do business in heavy equipment manufacturing and parts fulfillment, agricultural machinery, automotive parts and components, food containers and food packaging.

Located in central Illinois, G&D Integrated’s services include transportation, warehousing, and distribution and logistics. On the transportation side, it offers point-to-point hauling, dedicated contract carriage, ocean container drayage and freight brokerage.

Its fleet of 430 vehicles travels up to 26 million miles annually. The diesel-powered units run year-round on a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel, which is known as B20.

Biodiesel has been key not only in the company’s sustainability efforts but also in growing its business. For instance, biodiesel usage is showing up in some RFPs and, Buonassi says, has been “directly related” to the company winning bids. It also has helped G&D Integrated strengthen its relationship with East Coast ports that want to reduce their carbon footprint.

“Many of our customers analyze their entire supply chain for environmental impact, and some have even gone as far as incorporating sustainability into their purchasing departments,” he says.

Significant carbon reduction

The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from G&D’s use of biodiesel is equal to nearly 230,000 fewer gallons of gasoline consumed each year. Particulate matter is reduced by 2,854 pounds annually. The numbers come from the B20 Club, a program from the Illinois Soybean Association and the American Lung Association.

“We’re talking a material difference here,” Buonassi says.

G&D Integrated started using biodiesel several years ago after its fuel supplier, Ag-Land FS Inc., introduced the company to the fuel.

“They were claiming that this product would not only cost us less money but also would not result in any efficiency losses,” Buonassi says.

He has found that to be true and says biodiesel has not caused G&D Integrated to increase its rates.

Fuel that performs

G&D Integrated started with a B11 blend before quickly moving up to B20. Each time, it rigorously tested the fuel.

“What we observed was there was absolutely zero degradation in performance,” Buonassi says.

In fact, biodiesel added lubricity. It has also performed well in cold weather. Buonassi credits partnering with a quality vendor like Ag-Land FS to getting a good product. The fuel comes from REG.

“A company like REG has production facilities that make top-of-the-line, quality-controlled biodiesel,” he says. “And they’re sourcing different forms of feedstock that go through testing before being converted to the end product.”

It’s an end product that Buonassi credits with helping G&D Integrated stay ahead of the curve.

“There’s really no sense in fighting the tide of sustainability,” he says. “A lot of other truck carriers will. At G&D, we feel it's our duty to be good environmental custodians, and it makes business sense for us.”

The Bottom Line

Environment

G&D Integrated's biodiesel use reduces:

  • Carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of 230,000 gallons of gasoline annually
  • More than 2,800 pounds of particulate matter

Performance

No drop in fleet performance compared with petroleum diesel.
Uses up to a B20 blend in cold weather.

Business

G&D Integrated has been awarded business because of biodiesel use.

Watch: G&D Integrated Explains Biodiesel Benefits

Before G&D Integrated fully embraced biodiesel, it extensively tested how it's fleet performed. See the results.

Golden Opportunity in the Golden State

Southern California distributor stays busy by meeting the growing demand for biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel.

California Fuels & Lubricants has a diverse group of fleet customers. There are trucking companies, local governments, construction crews, businesses that work in the Port of Los Angeles and even plant nurseries

They may be in different industries, but there’s one thing the fleets have in common: a desire for cleaner-burning alternatives to petroleum diesel.

“One of the biggest trends we’re seeing is growing demand for biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel,” says Jaime Duenas, President of California Fuels & Lubricants. “Fleets are trying to lower their greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprints.”

Part of that trend is attributable to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which requires a reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. But it’s also due to the worldwide trend of environmental sustainability supported by corporations, governments and individuals.

No matter the motivation, California Fuels & Lubricants is happy to supply the fuels to meet the demand.

“The renewable fuels help us meet the needs of our longtime customers and to bring on new customers that are looking for a cleaner fuel,” Duenas says.

Biodiesel as a solution

For California Fuels & Lubricants, those renewable fuels are biodiesel, renewable hydrocarbon diesel (RHD) and most recently, a blend of the two. It gets all three fuels from REG.

California Fuels & Lubricants began offering biodiesel in 2014, starting with a B5 blend before quickly moving up to B20.

“There were customers looking for a higher blend for a couple of reasons,” Duenas says. “One reason was it helped them with their emissions. The other part of it was they got a little bit of a break on the pricing because of some of the financial advantages of using B20.”

RHD also popular

A year later, California Fuels & Lubricants expanded into renewable hydrocarbon diesel. Like biodiesel, RHD is an environmentally friendly fuel, but it’s made by a different production process and falls under the diesel spec, ASTM D975.

“RHD is another option for our customers that is good for the environment and performs well in their vehicles,” Duenas says.

A new blend

Now, in addition to offering biodiesel blends and RHD individually, the company is selling a product with the two blended together. Known as an RHD and biodiesel blend, it has the best features of the individual fuels, including excellent Cetane, a low cloud point and added lubricity. The biggest benefit is on the environmental side. An RHD and biodiesel blend significantly reduces total hydrocarbons, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide (NOx) compared with petroleum diesel.

California Fuels & Lubricants offers a blend that is 80 percent RHD and 20 percent biodiesel, which it gets from REG. But it’s not just their customers that use it.

“Our fleet is running on an RHD B20 blend,” says Duenas.  “That speaks to our confidence in the fuel’s performance and its emissions profile.”

Diverse supply for its customers

The popularity of all three fuels has kept California Fuels & Lubricants busy delivering to trucking yards, municipalities, construction sites and one of the world’s busiest ports.

“We are known as a company that offers a variety of fuels,” Duenas says. “Our customers are happy with the products, they’re happy with our service, and they’re happy with the overall experience of using our renewable fuels in their vehicles.”

"One of the biggest trends we’re seeing is growing demand for biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel."
Jaime Duenas,  President, California Fuels & Lubricants