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As a means of assisting the growth of the natural gas vehicle market, particularly the creation of infrastructure to support it, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) today said that, beginning next month, it would convert 20% of its for-hire truck loads across eight different carriers to natural gas over the next two years.
The initial stage of the conversion, to be delivered in 16 states with an average length of haul over 280 miles, will convert approximately 7% of the North American for-hire transportation network to natural gas-powered trucks.
Noting that NG-powered trucks are a cleaner way to deliver product, P&G's Global Product Supply Officer Yannis Skoufalos said, "P&G is investing in carriers with a commitment to natural gas vehicles to help boost the emerging natural gas industry, while continuing to seek more sustainable options for our supply chain and operations."
Because of the high costs involved in building out a fleet of vehicles, and because the infrastructure needed to service them is an impediment to growth, P&G's use of for-hire transportation carriers for natural gas in the market enables the consumer-goods company to support the growth of public natural gas refueling stations.
Procter & Gamble will use these vehicles on routes that are far longer than is average in the dedicated fleet model, thereby helping to remove obstacles to their becoming a mainstream alternative for large-scale shipments.
The for-hire natural gas carrier arrangement is in addition to P&G's own 22 natural gas vehicles, though globally, the company is moving away from from truck transport to rail and inland shipping, which, according to data, is up to four times less carbon intensive.
Procter & Gamble expects to realize not only cost savings for the converted lanes, but also a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 5,000 metric tons, or the equivalent of 1,000 passenger vehicles for a year.