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Chip power

We missed this story earlier this week, but it’s good enough to still bring up. McDonalds is converting its UK delivery fleet to run on a form of biofuel made mostly from recycled vegetable oil from its 1,200 UK stores, combined with rapeseed oil. But the fumes won’t smell like chips, the company says.

Matthew Howe, senior vice president with McDonald’s UK, said the fast food restaurant should eventually be able to replace the six million litres of diesel its fleet used last year with cooking oil from its 1,200 restaurants in Britain.

“We may even have a little bit of excess (biodiesel) capacity we can sell into the market,” he told Reuters.

McDonald’s launched its rollout on Monday with half of its 45-strong fleet based in Basingstoke and in about 12 months would convert all its 155 delivery trucks to run on the green fuel.

Howe said the fuel would not smell of the company’s food.


  • Komrade Kacper
    Posted July 7, 2007 at 10:44 am

    I know what you are saying, but actually when you think about it, setting up a blog sitting on a power-hungry server somewhere, requiring bloggers to join in with their power-hungry computing devices in their power-hungry offices or bedrooms also has elements of counter-productivity. Isn’t a large part of today’s power comsumption problem caused by the ever-increasing demand from consumers who like to chat, blog, email, surf, game, download, upload….?
    If you were follow this argument to its logical end you would be expressing your opinions standing in your ethically-produced clothes at speakers’ corner Hyde Park. But that would not get you anywhere would it?

  • anthony cornish
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    The irony is indeed beautiful. A good point, well made.
    I’d still take the holiday though… and you could ask them to Eurostar/TGV you down there instead if you feel this is greener.

  • Mark Kobayashi-Hillary
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Like you say, it’s about changing behaviour, walking the walk, not just coughing up for some offsetting… I can’t believe that the Live Earth concerts are promoted as adding to the ‘debate’… seems like getting some artists to fly around in their private jet raises the debate on climate change? As if I really wanted to hear what Madonna has to say on climate change…

  • David Quainton
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Now Dan,

    As you did, I work for Haymarket, earning a paltry sum and living off crusty cut-offs that even the meanest prison warder wouldn’t consider handing his most hated lag. Occasionally I save up the money I earn and spend it on the luxury of a Beef & Toyota Pot Noodle.
    But I’m okay with this, for every penny I don’t earn goes to Michael Heseltine, as the sole owner of Haymarket, and is spent expanding his back garden, thus reducing my carbon footprint. It is for this reason I am more than happy to take any gift of a holiday (don’t tell me it’s anything else) to Sophia Antipolis off your hands.
    Loving your work on this DI, you old soak you.

  • HelenHopper
    Posted June 27, 2007 at 9:05 pm


    I love

    Puts it all in perspective

  • Adam Liversage
    Posted June 27, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Controversially, I think you’re being a little bit harsh, Dan – if an event is ‘pan european’, how else would you expect to get there apart from flying? Would you honestly go if they loaned you a Prius and expected you to drive all the way?

  • Anthony
    Posted June 27, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Offsetting my backside – thats like Tony Blair trying to offset the war in Iraq by becoming a PEace Envoy after hundreds of thousands of people have been killed- I regularly try and offset all those pints the morning after by drinking a smoothie but the damage has still been done.

    You are right to be cynical – i am not a journalist and i think this is a stupid idea – flying all that way just to see someone talking about their shiny new widget. Better idea – get a load of journalists in a room with a sunlamp, a crate of beer and a webcam. Cheaper, environmentally friendly and guaranteed weather.

  • Ben Hunt
    Posted June 27, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    It’s a bit like Dozy Dave Cameron flying off to the Arctic Circle to cuddle polar bears to demonstrate his green credentials. You can tell where the idea came from, and why at least someone thought it was a good idea. But if you think about it rationally for about four seconds you realise how ridiculous and counter-productive it actually is. You shouldo go, but only if they pick you up from your flat and drive you down there in a Prius.

  • Daniel Thomas
    Posted June 27, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Interesting point Dan. Not that I’m endorsing an end to all press trips 😉 But totally agree firms need to think through their message if they’re going to jump on the green bandwagon. Don’t think any tech firm can really brag green credentials with impunity.

  • Will Sturgeon
    Posted June 27, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Excellent point, well made – nice one Dan. Don’t think HP are alone in these kinds of double standards but hopefully your post may get people talking and some of their competitors thinking ‘that could have been us…’

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