The Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition (CACC) has named Testa Produce Inc., a family-owned company that has operated in Chicago’s Back of the Yards Neighborhood for more than 100 years, the coalition’s 2015 Clean Fuel Champion.
Testa Produce, which provides foodservice to restaurants, hotels, hospitals, country clubs, sports venues and catering services, has 20 delivery trucks that are powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). Five of those trucks were added to the company’s fleet in November.
“Testa Produce is leading the way when it comes to being green, and there is lots of green at this company, and not only vegetables,” says Samantha Bingham, CACC coordinator. “The company has a green roof, solar panels and a wind turbine – but they also use clean, green alternative fuels to power their fleet.”
The Clean Fuel Champion was awarded at the coalition’s year-end meeting. The award is given annually to an individual, fleet, organization or business that promotes alternative fuel, uses domestic fuel or reduces petroleum usage. Recent award recipients include Ozinga Bros. Inc., Trillium CNG, the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, Groot Industries, and Congressman Mark Kirk.
“It’s a great honor to win this award,” says Barbara Daly, facilities and quality assurance manager of Testa Produce. “It is quite an accomplishment for us to say that we’ve displaced nearly 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel since the start of our CNG program. We live by the motto on the side of our trucks, ‘Green By Nature, Greener by Choice.’”
Prior to piloting electric and CNG trucks, Testa Produce was one of the first companies in the Chicago area to convert its entire delivery fleet to biodiesel, as well as all of its company cars to hybrids. The company even has four solar-powered charging stations at its headquarters building.
“Having a fleet of CNG delivery vehicles is in line with our commitment to raising the bar on sustainability in the foodservice distribution industry,” says Daly. “Our CNG delivery trucks have replaced our biodiesel trucks, helping us to lower our carbon footprint even more and bringing us closer to our goal of zero dependence on foreign oil within five years.”