The process of conversion begins at the restaurant, where the team from the distribution centre collects used cooking oil.
Hardcastle Restaurants, the master franchisee for McDonald's in the western and southern markets, now recycles used cooking oil from McDonald’s outlets and converts it into biodiesel for powering its refrigerated supply delivery trucks.
The company started this pilot project last year with Unicon Biofuels and has so far scaled it up to cover 85 restaurants in Mumbai.
Currently, the company converts more than 35,000 litres of used cooking oil every month into biodiesel, said Vikram Ogale, Director-National Supply Chain & Quality Assurance, McDonald’s India.
The process of conversion begins at the restaurant, where the team from the distribution centre collects used cooking oil. The collected oil is then taken to the converting facility in tankers. The oil is converted into biodiesel and sent back to the distribution centre. It is then used in dedicated refrigerated trucks for McDonald’s supply logistics in Mumbai.
The company is piloting the project in Mumbai, and also looking at Bengaluru. "We will soon bring all our 277 outlets under the recycling programme," Ogale said.
Ogale said the biodiesel made from the used cooking oil is a cleaner fuel with 75 percent lower carbon emissions than diesel over its entire life cycle.
Sandeep Chaturvedi, president of the Biodiesel Association of India, said HRPL and Unicon Biofuels have been working for the past one year to convert used cooking oil to biodiesel as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
"The Biodiesel Association of India encourages all food companies to learn from this initiative and apply it to their business model," he added.
Over the next four years, Hardcastle Restaurants is looking at expanding its restaurant footprint to 450-500. This means, the company will be using about 15 lakh litres of used oil to make biodiesel for running its refrigerated delivery trucks.