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Aberdeen-based logistics company ASCO switches HGV fleet to renewable fuel to cut carbon emissions

By Kirsty Brown

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ASCO is switching its heavy goods vehicle fleet fleet from diesel fossil fuel to HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) renewable diesel fuel from this month as part of its ambitious drive to decarbonise its operations and be net-zero by 2040.

The global integrated logistics and materials management company says this will reduce direct carbon emissions by more than 3,040 tonnes, representing a 46 percent reduction in the UK and a 20 percent reduction across its global operations against its 2019 baseline.

The 3,040 tonnes of CO2 saved is equivalent to the amount absorbed by 150,586 trees in one year or the volume produced by heating 453 homes in a year.

HVO is a biofuel made from industrial waste, such as tail oil and fats, and non-food crops that can be used as a drop-in replacement for diesel in the transition to low-carbon fuel alternatives.

ASCO’s fleet of around 100 vehicles will be using a 100 percent biofuel that is produced from non-food crops, ensuring the biomass is not in direct competition with food growth.

Having completed a successful field trial using HVO in July 2021, the project has received original equipment manufacturer approval and will be rolled out across the UK in March.

A reduction in direct emissions for ASCO also results in a reduction in emissions for clients.

UK Fleet Manager for ASCO Mick Smith said: “In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our own operations, ASCO is committed to making changes that also impact on shaping a low-carbon supply chain.

“Over the last eight months we have been exploring ways to improve our environmental footprint by switching to low-carbon alternatives.

"As technology advances, we want to use new innovations to ensure we take the right action to tackling climate change, whilst continuing to deliver for our clients without disruption.

"Achieving our net-zero carbon targets requires collaboration throughout the supply chain.

"With the support of our clients, we can work towards decarbonising our operations and support the industry to deliver a sustainable future.”

ASCO has committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and is actively implementing changes to the business to reduce emissions across all three CO2 emission scopes: scope one – direct emissions, scope two - indirect emissions and scope three emissions which are attributable to business travel, handling and processing clients waste and supplying to clients.

In collaboration with Goal7, a local consultancy which has been supporting the development of ASCO’s sustainability strategy, ASCO's drive to decarbonise its operations with the latest technology is well underway and already improving sustainability standards in the industry.

ASCO upgraded the diesel fleet to Euro 6 emissions standard vehicles in 2019, ensuring they met the requirements for low-emission zones and NOx (nitrogen oxides) emission concentrations in exhaust gas.

The switch to HVO allows ASCO to go beyond the requirements of the Aberdeen Low Emissions Zone (LEZ), which comes into effect from 2022.

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