Zemo Partnership has published a guide showing HGV operators how to drastically cut their emissions and fuel costs and attract new business by using low carbon renewable fuels.

Dubbed The Renewable Fuels Guide, it provides advice and case studies on how businesses operating diesel HGV trucks can immediately lower their carbon emissions by using a range of alternative fuels in their existing fleets.

Fuels covered in the guide include biodiesel, renewable diesel, biomethane and bio-propane, with each section providing an overview of the UK’s renewable fuels market and case studies from HGV operators using renewable fuels.

The guide also provides the fuels’ GHG emission performance and primary sustainable feedstocks and includes operational information including public and depot-based refuelling infrastructure, as well as financial information.

In addition, it lists heavy duty manufacturers engine models that are approved to run on high blend biodiesel such as B20 and B30, and renewable diesel such as HVO.

Announcing the publication, Zemo Partnership said: "Over the next, critical decade using lower carbon fuels in the heavy duty vehicle fleet is the biggest opportunity to make a step change reduction in GHG emissions."

It points to Zemo Partnership research which shows that GHG emissions from the UK’s HGVs could be cut by an extra 46 million tonnes over the next seven years (2030) – equivalent to 4% of all road transport GHG emissions - if an average of 30% renewable fuels, such as high blend biodiesel, renewable diesel or biomethane, were adopted across the existing HGV fleet.

It added: "Considerable emissions savings can be achieved up to – and will be needed well beyond - 2040 if the residual diesel HGV fleet were to introduce renewable fuels on a wide scale."

The guide can also help operators grow their businesses, pointing out that many clients are incorporating sustainability performance standards into their tendering processes.

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It adds: "Adopting renewable fuels can provide a practical solution, particularly for operators of vehicles with long duty cycles and those with heavy payloads, which are difficult (and, currently, very costly) to electrify."

Gloria Esposito, report author and Zemo’s fuels lead and head of sustainability, said: “We’re delighted to publish this new guide to help heavy duty vehicle operators who are facing many other challenges, find a way through the maze of guidance and regulations around cutting carbon emissions.

“The guide has been compiled with the support of Zemo members – manufacturers, fuel suppliers and fleet operators – who have shared their invaluable knowledge and experience.”

Tanya Neech, Scania UK head of sustainability, added: "There’s no ‘silver bullet’ solution to reducing the GHG emissions from our sector, which is why we must explore and investigate all technologies.

“Efforts will need focus on three pillars: energy efficiency, renewable fuels and electrification. All three are important, and only by combining them, can we provide sustainable solutions, and be able to reduce GHG emissions on par with the Paris Accord.

“Electrification on its own won’t be enough to reach the GHG reduction targets. To keep the necessary pace of halving the real well-to-wheel carbon footprint from heavy duty transport every decade, sustainable biofuels will be vital.”

Niki Holt, Certas Energy head of commercial agreed with Neech that there is "no well-trodden path" on the journey to net zero.

He added: "Renewable fuels such as HVO have the potential to play a significant role in plugging the gap to net zero and this guide provides businesses with persuasive evidence and practical guidance to take their next step with their energy transition strategy.

"By switching our own fleet to HVO, we’ve successfully exceeded our own 2025 carbon reduction target three years ahead of schedule and we look forward to supporting more HGV operators in doing the same.”