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Clif Bar Expands Use of Biodiesel

Clif Bar & Co. has rolled out a fleet of eight new biodiesel-powered pickup trucks for its field marketing team. The vehicles will use biodiesel blends ranging from B20 to B100, depending on the availability and season.

By converting its field marketing vehicles to biodiesel, Clif Bar expects to reduce the fleet’s CO2 emissions by about 40%, or 60,000 pounds of CO2.

The Clif biodiesel Ram.

The eight new Dodge Ram 2500 Turbo Diesel trucks will be driven by Clif Bar field marketing managers in Boston, Chicago, Colorado, Los Angeles, Northern California, the Northwest, San Diego/Arizona and Texas. Together, they travel more than 120,000 miles a year.

Clif Bar has been researching alternative fuels for a few years now. Right now, its ease of adaptability and availability make biodiesel a great fuel choice for our field marketing team. While we recognize that biofuels are one just one step on our path towards sustainability, we hope we can inspire consumers and other companies to help protect the planet by sharing our experience and exploration of alternative fuels.

—Bryan Cole, Director of Field Experience

In October 2006, the company switched to B100 biodiesel fuel to run the trucks that transport its products between its bakery and distribution center. In addition, Clif Bar now uses biodiesel to fuel the truck that transports its company-sponsored LUNA Chix professional women’s mountain bike team across the United States.

The company’s mobile marketing tours also operate on biodiesel and, in some instances, pure vegetable oil. This past winter, the Clif Bar Save Our Snow (SOS) Winter Roadtrip traveled throughout the Western United States and Canada in an RV fueled with 100% waste vegetable oil.

In December 2006, Clif Bar launched Cool Commute, the nation’s first incentive program to pay cash to employees who purchase clean-burning biodiesel cars. (Earlier post.) It also helps them buy high-mileage hybrids and offers a variety of rewards to those who leave their cars at home altogether. Since the program began, three employees have purchased cars that run on biodiesel and seven others have begun to drive hybrids.



Why do the marketing managers need to drive such large vehicles? Why do they need to average over 15,000 miles a piece? Where do they get the biodiesel? Do they have it trucked to a special pump at an office at each location?

I am all for using biodiesel, but this particular application may do more for Clif's image than for the environment.


They're doing an average of 60 miles a day. That's pretty poultry given the territory each is covering. They'll need a vehicle this size because a) they may have to haul marketing materials to exhibits etc. and samples b) If you're buying a new diesel vehicle right now your choice is one of these heavy-duty pickups OR a $60,000+ Mercedes E320 and umm... that's it! and c) it's their free-market choice.

Distribution of biodiesel is another matter but most of the cities listed have one or two retail outlets, some more.

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