Home improvement retailer Lowe’s has shifted its entire dedicated fleet at its Mount Vernon, TX, distribution center to run on natural gas. The distribution center transports up to 68 truckloads per day to stores in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Lowe’s said it expects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20% while controlling fuel costs at the facility.

“The transition to an NG-powered fleet was a natural step for Lowe’s because of the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas,” said Steve Palmer, Lowe’s vice president of transportation. “Given the amount of natural gas that’s available domestically, broadly utilizing natural gas will give us an opportunity to better control our transportation fuel costs in the coming years. Our goal is to replace all of our diesel-powered dedicated fleets with natural gas trucks by the end of 2017.”

The company began using natural gas trucks last year at its distribution center in Kissimmee, FL, and teamed with longtime carrier partner NFI Industries to launch the natural gas dedicated fleet in Texas.

“We started on this journey approximately three years ago, and this was the perfect scenario to roll out our first natural gas fleet,” said Ike Brown, NFI vice chairman and owner. “We look forward to continue to develop our sustainability initiatives, as a logistics provider and as a partner with Lowe’s.”

Lowe’s worked with Clean Energy on the initiative. Clean Energy will open a natural gas station in Sulphur Springs, TX, to support the fleet.

“This is a great model for America – a collaboration between one of the country’s largest shippers and a forward-looking fleet using a fuel that is not only economical but better for the air we breathe,” said Jim Harger, chief marketing officer at Clean Energy.