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QCD Advances Sustainability Commitment with Electrification Initiatives

May 12, 2022

During this week’s Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California, QCD announced two significant commitments to the continued electrification of its last-mile logistics operations in Southern California. Through a multi-stakeholder electrification project, QCD will expand its Southern California delivery fleet to 45 battery-electric tractors, while adding 16 fast chargers and a renewable energy microgrid to power the chargers.

In partnership with Volvo Trucks North America, QCD will increase its commitment to zero-tailpipe emission freight transport with its latest order of 30 Volvo VNR Electrics. Together with the order of 15 announced last year, QCD plans to deploy a total of 45 battery-electric Class 8 tractors into its Southern California fleet over the next year. These efforts comprise a central part of QCD’s strategy to help its quick service restaurant customers reduce their supply chain emissions.

“QCD has gained incredible firsthand insight into the real-world performance of battery-electric trucks during the past year while operating a Volvo VNR Electric truck as part of the Volvo LIGHTS project,” said Shane Blanchette, Senior Director of Operations, QCD. “We now have the experience needed to map out the ideal routes to integrate additional battery-electric trucks, and we’ll use this knowledge as we deploy the additional Volvo VNR Electrics from our distribution centers in Fontana and La Puente, California (QLA).”

To further bolster the environmental and economic benefits of the project, as well as increase resiliency, QCD has partnered with Scale Microgrid Solutions to build a first-of-its-kind clean energy microgrid to power its Los Angeles-based battery-electric fleet and distribution center. InCharge Energy will supply and maintain fast charging stations utilizing onsite renewable energy generated by a microgrid developed by Scale Microgrid Solutions to support QCD’s growing Volvo VNR Electric fleet.

“QCD’s long-term commitment to sustainability and our customers’ success depends upon reliable clean energy infrastructure like the on-site microgrid we’re building at our Los Angeles distribution center,” said Shane. “As we pursue emissions reduction initiatives, our partnership with Scale Microgrid Solutions and In-Charge Energy will enable QCD to leverage emerging technologies in clean energy to resiliently power our growing battery-electric truck fleet and our logistics operations that currently supports more than 7,500 U.S. quick service restaurants.”

In late 2021, Heavy Duty Trucking magazine recognized QCD among its "30 Top Green Fleets" leading the way in sustainability in the U.S. by initiating earth-friendly logistics practices over the past year. In addition to deploying battery-electric trucks, these practices include using Neste MY Renewable Diesel for truck tractors in California and Oregon, as well as supporting Starbucks’ FoodShare program, which delivers unused, nourishing Starbucks food to nonprofits around the U.S.

In 2022, QCD facilities have started making mileage reductions and sustainability gains through delivery frequency adjustments. By streamlining deliveries to six times per week, one QCD facility reduced its annual mileage and CO2 emissions by an estimated 18 percent. Additional distribution centers will implement similar sustainability reductions in the months ahead.

QCD’s impactful sustainability efforts in recent years have built upon GSF’s long-standing tradition of supporting community and environment across its 50 global facilities and the customer markets supported by the company’s logistics, manufacturing, and administrative locations. The company’s commitment to sustainability through the years has also included Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certifications of several facilities and implementing solar energy to power pallet jacks and lift gates, extending the service life of lift gate electric batteries throughout QCD’s fleet, thereby maximizing efficiency, and minimizing the impact on the environment.

The company’s ongoing sustainability efforts have garnered various honors, including a 2021 Best in Biz Gold Award for Most Socially Responsible Company of the Year, based on QCD’s growing electric truck fleet and pandemic-related community food bank support. Additionally, the Chicago logistics facility earned the State of Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award for three consecutive years (2014-2017), and McDonald’s recognized GSF among its “Best of Green and Sustainability” in 2010.

"Our QCD teams have made significant impacts by implementing industry-leading sustainable logistics practices,” said Brett Basel, GSF Sustainability Director. Innovation, coupled with an intrinsic desire to reduce our collective carbon footprint, is helping pave the way for a greener and brighter future."
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