As part of an ambitious commitment to power their logistic operations with renewable energy sources by 2050, SPAR Austria looks at greenhouse gas emissions incurred in local transportation. Of around 300 trucks supplying SPAR stores across Austria, over 50% of the trucks have been refueled with renewable Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) since mid-September.
This fuel is made from used cooking oil and is considered a renewable low-carbon substitute for diesel. The transition to this fuel can be done seamlessly with the same trucks continuing to deliver products to 1,500 SPAR stores in Austria. To date, the provinces of Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland, Styria, and Carinthia are using this source, with other regions to follow.
SPAR Austria confirmed a reluctance in the past to use this fuel source due to plant-based oils, such as rapeseed, soybean, or palm oil, potentially competing with other crops for land use during the fuel production process. SPAR Austria Board member Marcus Wild underscored that, as a food retailer, there is a definitive answer to the ‘plate or tank’ dilemma: food belongs on the plate. Ensuring the HVO fuel is 100% certified and obtained from used cooking oils and residues containing no palm oil was a key factor for SPAR Austria to adopt this fuel in their vehicles.
SPAR Austria indicated that although the fuel being sourced is 100% bio-based, it still causes emissions during refinery and fuel transportation stages, however, up to 90% of emissions can be avoided when compared to using fossil diesel. It is estimated that switching to bio-based fuel will save around 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year in the first five provinces using this source, with up to 17,000 tonnes potentially saved if rolled out throughout Austria.
Source: SPAR Austria
The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954, but the current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company. With licences granted by SPAR International, ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) has developed the brand in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Northern Italy.