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Anheuser-Busch's St. Louis fleet runs on new fuel (and it's not beer)

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

A tractor trailer from Anheuser-Busch’s St. Louis brewery will be hard to miss.

The trucks have gone green, both literally and figuratively.

The beer giant announced Tuesday that it’s converted 97 diesel tractor trucks to compressed natural gas. To highlight the change, all of the trucks now sport a bright green exterior and Anheuser-Busch’s “Seed to Sip” logo.

AB’s senior director of transportation James Sembrot said during an announcement at the brewery that the company aims to cuts its carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent through 2017. The move in St. Louis is expect to cut about 2,500 tons annually.

"Transitioning our entire St. Louis tractor fleet to CNG-powered engines brings environmental benefits directly to our company and our community," Sembrot said.

St. Louis’ brewery was not the first to make the change. AB converted its fleet in Houston last year, and Sembot said they’re looking at their other operation, too.

"We’re considering and evaluating all 12 of our brewery locations in the United States, and there are other operating zones within our company that have decided to make similar analysis and investments in their territories," he said.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was on hand for the announcement and praised the brewery for converting its fleet.

"I want to thank Anheuser-Busch for setting an example for businesses across the city by committing to environmentally-friendly business practices," he said.

The trucks will fuel up near the brewery at a recently opened CNG station operated by U.S. Gain. Sembrot said the trucks can go up to 650 miles before refueling.

AB’s St. Louis fleet travels about 11 million miles across the Midwest each year.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.

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