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Using HVO to decarbonise our fleet at Travis Perkins

Construction has a key role to play in decarbonising the built environment. As a leading partner to the construction industry and the UK’s largest distributor of building materials, we’ve got a great deal of responsibility to ensure that we’re heading towards a more sustainable future.

We operate a large fleet and property estate, sourcing and selling hundreds of thousands of products. We’re continuing our long-established commitment to carbon reduction with some of the latest measures including fleet optimisation, the introduction of electric vehicles and alternative fuels, and investment in other low carbon technology and renewable energy systems. 

We’ve produced carbon reduction roadmaps for our estate, our fleet and our supply chain. Our fleet decarbonisation roadmap outlines our key actions such as implementing a fleet management system to monitor driver performance and improve fuel efficiency, transitioning our diesel forklifts to electric and switching to alternative low-carbon fuels. We want to make a difference not because it’s the right thing to do, but truly because we care.

What are we doing to achieve net zero across our fleet?

To accelerate our journey toward a future without carbon, we recently announced that we will be scaling up our trial of using Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as a replacement fuel for diesel in vehicles. This follows our recent publication of decarbonisation roadmaps to achieve the Group’s net-zero ambition for carbon emissions by 2035. 

As a Group, we have been working with Green Biofuels Ltd (GBF) on the HVO trial since November 2021. It initially involved the installation of one HVO fuel tank in each of our merchant businesses (CCF, BSS, Travis Perkins and Keyline). At CCF for example, we launched the UK's first Fully Electric 27-tonne Curtain-sided HGV. Based on the success of the trial, the use of HVO has now been scaled up to cover 30 branches and support over 160 vehicles..

How does using HVO make us more sustainable?

The HVO used is sustainably sourced and made from waste materials such as used cooking oils and other waste oils and has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide by up to 90% compared to diesel. It also has the potential to reduce other emissions, including nitrogen oxide by up to 30% and particulates by up to 85%, and requires no modification to existing diesel engines.

Travis Perkins has one of the largest fleets in the country, which accounts for over 70% of the Group’s Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2 emissions are those that we emit from our own operations - from our fleet and our estate). The use of HVO, therefore, plays a crucial part in our ambitious plan to decarbonise the business.

Fully committed to decarbonising our fleet

Our Chief Financial Officer, Alan Williams, explained: “We are fully committed to lead in decarbonising. We have set ambitious SBTi* accredited targets that are challenging, but achievable, and will keep the carbon impact of both our business and supply chain consistent with the 1.5 degree pathway of the 2016 Paris Agreement to limit global warming. 

We have published clear roadmaps for the delivery of our plans, and HVO is a stepping stone in the implementation of our net-zero carbon delivery. It complements the multiple initiatives we are putting in place to decarbonise our business so that we can start to offer zero-emission deliveries to our customers more quickly.

HVO fuel is a great low carbon alternative component which will play an important role in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from our vehicles until the infrastructure for electric vehicles improves and the development of more long-term solutions, such as hydrogen, becomes a reality.”

Help us on our journey to becoming carbon neutral

Are you passionate about creating a sustainable future for generations to come to have a safe and healthy environment to live in? We are, and we’re looking for spirited individuals to help us on our journey to becoming carbon neutral. 

If you, like James, want to seize a new career opportunity whilst helping us progress on our journey to Net Zero Carbon, we want to hear from you. Browse our available Head Office and Central Services jobs based out of our Northampton Hub today. 


*Science Based Targets initiative (‘SBTi’) 

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