Transitioning to Natural Gas

For more than a decade, Lowe’s has worked with carriers and environmental partners to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and fuel costs while promoting responsible transportation practices across the industry.

We expanded those efforts in 2013 by launching a dedicated fleet of natural gas-powered trucks at our regional distribution center in Mount Vernon, Texas. The dedicated fleet is among the first serving a major retail distribution center in North America to run solely on natural gas, a cleaner and more economical alternative to diesel fuel.

Our goal is to replace all of our diesel-powered dedicated fleets with natural gas trucks by the end of 2017.

“The transition to a natural gas-powered fleet was a logical step for Lowe’s because of the economic and environmental benefits,” said Steve Palmer, Lowe’s vice president of transportation. “Given the amount of natural gas that’s available domestically, broadly utilizing natural gas will give us an opportunity to better control our transportation fuel costs in the coming years.”

Lowe’s worked with Clean Energy to research the use of alternative fuels and teamed with longtime carrier partner NFI to launch the dedicated fleet, which will transport up to 70 truckloads a day to Lowe’s stores in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. With the transition from diesel, we expect to reduce greenhouse gas emissions nearly 20 percent and cut fuel costs.

“It’s a benefit for the drivers, it’s a benefit for communities and it’s a benefit for the whole supply chain,” said Elena Craft, health scientist for Environmental Defense Fund.

And it’s just the start. We’re working with our truckload carriers across the country to convert their Lowe’s-dedicated fleets over the next few years. Our goal is to replace all of our diesel-powered dedicated fleets with natural gas trucks by the end of 2017.

We began that journey at our distribution center in Kissimmee, Florida, in 2012, and natural gas trucks are now active at Lowe’s distributions centers in seven states. By the end of 2014, we expect to service more than 20 percent of Lowe’s stores with natural gas trucks.