Over a million litres of vegetable cooking oil used by the Spur Corporation across three of its restaurant operations in the Western Cape, have been converted to biodiesel to power a range of fishing vessels, trucks and mining equipment.
The oil recycling initiative that forms part of the group’s waste management programme has been running for six years, with one million litres collected to date. As a result, some 870 000 litres of biodiesel were produced, translating into a saving of 3.1 million kg of CO2 equivalent emissions.
Working through a Western Cape company, Envirodiesel, the oil is collected weekly from the group’s Spur Steak Ranches, Panarottis Pizza Pasta and John Dory’s Fish Grill Sushi, and is purified and converted to biodiesel which is then sold on to companies using this type of fuel.
Envirodiesel even powers its own collection vehicles with the biodiesel as it is cleaner and more fuel-efficient than diesel and provides better engine lubrication.
According to CEO Pierre van Tonder, all the oil collected by Envirodiesel is converted into biodiesel. “We have made it mandatory that oil waste has to be collected from our restaurants once a week and a register is maintained to track compliance by all our franchisees.
“We are aware that some environmentalists do not promote biofuel production where land is involved that could be used to grow food. However, this is not an issue here. We are converting waste into a viable source of energy.”
“Our HQ waste reduction programme, begun in 2010, is running on target. We cut our waste by 55% between 2010 and 2011 and over the past 12 months, reduced it by a further 64%.”
Currently, over 80% of waste generated at the group’s Cape Town head office and more than 60% of waste generated at its Cape Town-based décor facility that supplies to its franchisees, is either recycled or composted.
The company has also successfully migrated from plastic-intensive takeaway packaging to paper-based packaging, derived from sustainably grown forests. “We have also reduced the ink coverage and number of colours used on all our packaging across our Spur, Panarottis and John Dory’s brands to ensure a substantial reduction in environmental impact during manufacturing.”