Keystone Foods/Allied Keystone Logistics (AKL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sought to use alternative fuel for the delivery fleet while supporting McDonald’s UAE to optimize the delivery-backhaul loop. The team also wanted to challenge the industry standard of relying on nonrenewable fossil fuels.
In 2010, Keystone Foods helped support the concept of closed-loop recycling in the UAE. In this system, used cooking oil was collected from McDonald’s restaurants by the same vehicles that delivered the virgin oil. The used oil was then backhauled to a local facility dedicated to converting the material into 100 percent biodiesel, which was then pumped back into the delivery fleet to continue this process.
Currently, McDonald’s fleet of 12 supply trucks in the UAE runs on 100 percent organic, biodegradable biodiesel, made from the vegetable oil recycled from McDonald’s restaurants. In addition to the cost savings from this used oil biodiesel, the fuel burns cleaner and more efficiently than traditional fossil diesel. More than 25,000 liters of cooking oil are collected from McDonald’s UAE’s approximately 90 restaurants each month and are converted, liter for liter, into the more environmentally friendly biodiesel. As the McDonald’s UAE restaurants generate more used cooking oil than the trucks need, excess biodiesel can be sold on the open market. McDonald’s UAE and the APMEA Logistics Council are exploring further expansion into other APMEA markets in 2012 and are estimating as much as $600,000 savings over the next five years if the program continues to expand.