Carrefour plans to introduce the first lorries running on biomethane fuel produced from waste from its stores

Carrefour is leading the way in France as it prepares to test three lorries running on Natural
Vehicle Gas produced from recycling biowaste from its stores, known as biomethane fuel.
The scheme will mean deliveries made to stores are carbon neutral. Each lorry uses 100%
renewable “green” energy. Developed in partnership with GNVERT, the sustainable
mobility operator for the GDF SUEZ Group, the carrier Perrenot and the manufacturer
IVECO, the pilot scheme in the Lille region will involve deliveries to around ten Carrefour
A revolution in the field of urban logistics and goods transport Carrefour is keen to pursue
its commitment to sustainable development and is innovating by introducing recycling of its
biowaste (fruits and vegetables, plants, baked goods, meat waste, etc.) to produce
biomethane fuel for three lorries delivering to around ten of its hypermarkets in the Lille
In concrete terms, the biowaste produced by the hypermarkets is recovered, then processed
in a methanisation plant (a technology similar to composting, but run under industrial
conditions). The methanisation process produces a biogas, which is in turn purified and
converted into biomethane fuel. It is then distributed to one of the GNVERT stations. This 2nd
generation biofuel is used to power vehicles delivering goods to Carrefour stores: so the
whole process comes full circle! (See computer graphic).
This win-win process makes a considerable contribution to reducing the environmental
impact of delivering goods to Carrefour stores: using biofuel reduces emissions of greenhouse
gases and avoids the production of fine particles by the lorry.
The system offers multiple benefits:
· No emissions of fine particles, in response to public health concerns
· Reduction of the environmental impact of deliveries to Carrefour stores (neutral carbon
balance and reduction of polluting emissions)
· Fifty per cent reduction in lorry noise for greater comfort for residents
· A practical experiment in energy self-sufficiency for deliveries to stores (as seen with the
hypermarkets involved in the pilot)
Carrefour has chosen GNVERT to work with it for the initial series of tests
As soon as the amendment to the decree that will allow it to proceed is published, Carrefour
will introduce the first vehicles running on biomethane fuel onto roads in the Lille region. The
lorries will handle deliveries of goods for around ten Carrefour stores in the North of France,
including hypermarkets in Lille, Calais, Douai, Lomme, Hazebrouck,
Valenciennes, Wasquehal, etc. Lorries running on biomethane fuel have a range of almost
400 km, which is enough to cover the needs of a daily round trip. An initial review has been
planned for a few months’ time, with a view to implementing a wider roll-out of the scheme.
A new initiative that reflects Carrefour’s commitment to reducing its environmental
As part of its efforts to limit its environmental impact, Carrefour is working to reduce polluting
emissions from its logistics activities, by developing multi-supplier consolidation centres and
alternative modes of transport (rail and river). The firm has also optimised the fill rate of its
lorries and developed a fleet of less noisy, less polluting vehicles.
*Biomethane fuel is a totally decarbonated version of natural vehicle gas (NVG). It reduces emissions of nitrogen
oxide (NOx) by 90% compared with a traditional fuel, whose polluting emissions can have impacts in terms of the
greenhouse effect, acidification of air, rainwater and water, eutrophication and consequences on health (irritation
of the mucous membranes, etc.) Also known as BioNVG, biomethane fuel is produced from the methanisation of
urban industrial or agricultural waste. This 100% renewable gas is strictly identical to methane (CH4) in chemical
terms. Apart from the fact that it does not need any kind of adaptation, either for the vehicles themselves or in
relation to distribution infrastructure, it also enjoys all the environmental advantages of NVG. It also performs well
in relation to GHG (greenhouse gases) as a result of its renewable origins. As an ecological, safe and competitive
fuel, BioNVG offers unquestionable advantages. Thanks to its intrinsic qualities and its resulting combination of
engine performance, environmental protection, reliability and competitiveness, BioNVG offers an appropriate
response to the new demands of urban centres, residents and businesses.

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