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Gatwick slashes its vehicle emissions after switching to HVO

London Gatwick has revealed that by using Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in their diesel vehicles they have reduced their carbon emissions by 90%, a saving of more than 950 tonnes annually.

HVO fuel is made almost entirely from used cooking oils and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% and air particulates by 85%. A fossil free replacement for conventional diesel fuel, HVO contains few impurities and burns cleanly. It can also reduce other emissions such as NOx and Carbon Monoxide, depending on engine type and usage.

All 300 diesel vehicles, 85% of  the airport’s total fleet, are now powered by HVO and will be until they are retired from use, at which point they will be replaced by electric vehicles as part of the airport’s sustainability policy, Decade of Change.

Following extensive trials it was seen that HVO had no impact on the performance of the vehicles, meaning the fire engines can still respond to call outs anywhere on the airfield within three minutes. All the airport’s fire engines are now powered by EVO as well as all airside operations vehicles and snow ploughs .

London Gatwick plan to invest overt £250 million in replacing all vehicles, gas boilers and refrigerants with low carbon alternatives. Gatwick will also continue to reduce overall energy use, invest in on-site renewable energy, including solar power, and continue to source 100% renewable electricity. 

The move to HVO is a small but important step for London Gatwick and part of much wider and ambitious plans to also address Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, which account for the largest impact at the airport.  

The airport is also working with airlines and industry partners to tackle Scope 3 emissions. This, they say, will be achieved measures including airspace modernisation and innovations in SAF, electric, hydrogen and hybrid aircraft.  

Steve Kelso, Head of Engineering, London Gatwick, said: ‘The implementation of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil to power our 300 diesel vehicles is an exciting milestone for London Gatwick’s sustainability journey and a big step in our fleet transition. It is vital we invest in sustainably sourced HVO to reduce emissions in all areas as soon as possible on our journey to reach net zero for our own Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

‘From the buses that pick passengers up from the long-stay car parks, to operations vehicles that patrol the airfield, HVO is now being used to fuel vehicles throughout the airport. As we continue to grow, we are making sustainability part of everything we do here at London Gatwick and we are committed to finding solutions and working differently to meet our ambitious targets.’

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