WALL, NJ-New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) has received its first delivery of biodiesel fuel, which will serve as an alternative fuel source for many of the utility’s vehicles. The switch comes after an extensive review of options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation at NJNG, reported Business Wire.

“As a public utility, we have a large number of vehicles on the road,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of NJNG. “Using biodiesel is a logical next step for us as we continue to identify ways to protect our environment and reduce our carbon footprint.”

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel produced from agricultural resources such as soybean oil that works with existing diesel engines. NJNG will be using the fuel in a blended form known as B20, which is composed of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel and is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 10 percent according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"Their effort is highly commendable,” said Randall Solomon, executive director of the New Jersey Sustainable State Institute. “These technologies are still young, and this type of biodiesel may or may not be a big part of our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in the future. But, NJR’s commitment to reducing their carbon footprint, and their willingness to take meaningful steps right now, is an example that other New Jersey businesses should follow."

The first delivery of biodiesel arrived at NJNG’s William L. Maude Service Center and will provide fuel for 32 trucks and numerous pieces of construction equipment. The utility also has plans to install a biodiesel tank at its John J. Mount Service Center in Lakewood in the near future which will fuel another 17 trucks.

NJNG’s switch to biodiesel was spurred by its parent company, New Jersey Resources (NJR). In March, NJR became the first company in the state to embrace New Jersey’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020. Since that time, the company has taken several steps that will reduce its emissions while evaluating many other options.

NJR enrolled in the Board of Public Utilities’ CleanPower Choice program to purchase renewable energy for its electricity usage. In doing so, NJR became the largest participant in the program and has eliminated its greenhouse gas emissions from electricity.

Additionally, several initiatives are underway at NJR that will help to lower paper usage, encourage employees to purchase hybrid and high-efficiency vehicles and reduce energy usage at the company’s facilities.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials