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Own biowaste to help fuel Lidl Finland

Lidl Finland, the Finnish subsidiary of Germany-headed supermarket chain Lidl, and gas major Gasum Oy are cooperating to produce environmentally friendly and local biogas from biowaste generated at Lidl stores. Lidl is also introducing a truck powered by liquefied biogas (LBG) that will use biogas produced from Lidl's own waste. The LBG-powered truck will help Lidl reduce its fossil emissions by up to 193 tonnes annually.

In Finland, the supermarket chain Lidl and the gas company Gasum are partnering to promote the circular economy. As part of their collaboration, Lidl will deliver its stores’ biowaste to anaerobic digestion (AD) where it will be used to produce liquefied biogas (LBG) – a renewable and local fuel that can be utilized in transport (photo courtesy Gasum).

The supermarket chain Lidl and the energy company Gasum are partnering to promote the circular economy. As part of their collaboration, Lidl will deliver its stores’ biowaste to anaerobic digestion (AD) where it will be used to produce environmentally friendly biogas – renewable and local energy that can be utilized in transport.

Grocery stores can also implement the circular economy by producing renewable energy from biowaste generated by them. For example, when biowaste is used as a feedstock in biogas production, it can be recovered efficiently and used by the enterprise as energy in its operations, said Jani Arala, Senior Manager, Sales, Road Fuels, from Gasum.

Lidl has also started using a truck powered by liquefied biogas (LBG) that will be fuelled by LBG produced from Lidl stores’ own waste.

The biogas-powered truck unit is an excellent addition to our fleet: we’re able to deliver goods with low emissions and drivers appreciate the low noise level of the truck unit. Based on our experiences so far, we may increase our gas-fuelled fleet quite rapidly, said Eeva Virtanen, CEO, Antiokia Oy, the transport company that owns the vehicle running deliveries for Lidl.

Large emission cuts with liquefied biogas

According to Gasum, using environmentally friendly biogas to fuel vehicles makes it possible to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated over the fuel life cycle by up to 85 percent compared with traditional fossil fuels. The LBG-powered truck will help Lidl reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 193 tonnes per annum. One tonne of CO2 emissions equates approximately to driving a diesel-fuelled estate car for 7 500 km – the distance from Helsinki to Paris and back.

The new biogas truck is first used for grocery store deliveries from the Janakkala and later mainly from the Järvenpää distribution center. We’re happy to gain access to a new-generation low-emission transport fleet. This cooperation supports our investments in environmental friendliness and the efficient utilization of recycled fractions,” said Anna Liitiäinen, Project Manager at Lidl .

Renewable biogas is produced from feedstocks including food waste generated in homes and retail outlets, sewage sludge and industrial by-products. Biogas production also represents the circular economy at its best as the organic matter created as a by-product can be utilized as environmentally friendly recycled nutrients by local farms.

Delivery and heavy-duty road vehicles are responsible for more than a quarter of road transport emissions in the EU. Depending on the size class, the annual emissions of a single tractor unit correspond to those of around 40–50 cars. LBG enables a major reduction in emissions. To achieve cuts in emissions from heavy-duty road transport, we need forerunners like Lidl, Arala said.

Gasum is currently investing in the construction and opening of 50 new gas filling stations for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) in Finland, Sweden and Norway by the beginning of the 2020s. The stations will provide heavy-duty transport with support for mobility fueled by low-emission gas in the Nordic countries.

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