Victoria Bitter will be delivered across Melbourne via Linfox electric truck from today, as Asahi Beverages ramps up its focus on sustainability.
The truck will be powered entirely by 100% offset solar power drawn from Asahi Beverages’ solar farm near Mildura in northern Victoria. The move is the latest sustainability initiative from the VB brand, which has been brewed with 100% offset solar electricity since last year.
Decked out in the famous VB green, the truck can travel up to 250km before it needs recharging. The Volvo FL all-electric vehicle making the historic delivery is the first-ever electric truck in the Linfox fleet. It’s also the first mass-produced electric truck of its size in Australia and the first Volvo FL all-electric in Australia.
Linfox delivers hundreds of millions of litres of beer annually for Asahi Beverages. The new addition to its fleet will deliver VB like a regular diesel truck, but in a sustainable way: transporting more than 100,000 cans and stubbies each week from Asahi Beverages’ distribution centre in Melbourne’s west to bottle shops across the city.
Robert Iervasi, Group CEO of Asahi Beverages, which purchased Carlton & United Breweries last year, said: “Linfox has delivered VB for more than 50 years. It’s fitting these two Australian icons are taking this major step towards a sustainable future together.
“This truck will deliver VB and our other beers in a sustainable, safe and efficient way, which makes sound commercial sense.
“It is the first of many electric trucks that will deliver our beer. Transitioning our deliveries to electric vehicles will help us achieve our ambitious sustainability goals of reducing our net carbon emissions across our entire supply chain by 30% by 2030 and to zero by 2050.”
Linfox Executive Chairman Peter Fox added: “Australia’s domestic freight task has doubled in the past decade and will continue to grow. To meet this demand, Australia’s road fleet will also grow and it is essential the fleet does this safely,
efficiently and with reduced environmental impact.
“We are proud to introduce Volvo’s first electric vehicle in Australia to the Linfox fleet. The majority of Linfox’s carbon emissions come from transportation tasks. As we continue our journey to act sustainably and achieve zero net emissions by 2030, the way we operate will change in response, with more electric vehicles planned for our fleet and increased use of rail transport where viable.
“Together with our customers, we continue our commitment to build sustainable and reliable supply chains for the future.”
Volvo Group Australia President and CEO Martin Merrick concluded: “The transport industry is transforming at a rapid rate. Electromobility is rapidly gaining traction as a transport solution and we are proud to partner with Linfox and Asahi Beverages on this exciting new journey.
“Environmental care is a core value shared not only by Linfox and Volvo Trucks, but also by Asahi Beverages and we are proud of those shared values. We are committed to ensuring our vehicles will play their part in making our cities cleaner and more liveable. This new truck represents the first step on that journey.”
The drive for a more sustainable VB
In March, Victoria Bitter launched a program giving punters the chance to trade their excess solar energy for slabs of beer.
The Solar Exchange program saw participants exchange credit on their power bill – obtained from generating excess solar at home – for slabs of VB.
Brian Phan, General Manager Marketing Victoria Bitter, said: “Last year we put the Australian sun to work and started brewing VB with 100% offset solar energy. Now we’ve launched this Aussie-first program to thank those who have made the effort to go solar with some hard-earned VB.
“The only thing better than drinking the Big Cold Beer in the Aussie sun is earning beer while you do it. Plus it’s a real win win for beer lovers and the environment.”
Asahi Beverages also overhauled its supply chain earlier this year and now brews many of its iconic beers, such as Victoria Bitter, using barley purchased directly from Aussie farmers.
The new supply chain means more than 90% of Asahi Beverages’ barley is purchased direct from farmers in line with the company’s quality and sustainability requirements.
Pictured main: Linfox Executive Chairman Peter Fox and Robert Iervasi, Asahi Beverages Group CEO