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  • International Distribution Services plc

Royal Mail achieves milestone in fleet use of renewable diesel

Photo: International Distribution Services plc

The British postal service and courier company Royal Mail announced May 20 that it has hit its first milestone in its rollout of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), also known as renewable diesel, to fuel its heavy-goods vehicle (HGV) fleet, using over 10 million liters (2.64 million gallons) and saving over 30,000 metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent.


HVO is a renewable alternative to diesel that reduces up to 90 percent of direct greenhouse-gas emissions compared to diesel.


It was first introduced by Royal Mail in June 2023 as part of the company’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions from its vehicle fleet.


HVO is now being used at six of Royal Mail’s largest sites, including both parcel hubs in Daventry and Warrington and key sites in the East Midlands, Manchester, Sheffield and Warrington.


The company aims to deploy 27 million liters (7.13 million gallons) of HVO annually across its network by this time next year, saving a further 44,000 tons of carbon dioxide.


Royal Mail’s Steps to Zero environment strategy set a goal of achieving net zero by 2040, with a 50 percent reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.


The company already has the lowest emissions per parcel of any courier, at 218 grams of CO2e, and aims to maintain this position in the long term.


“It’s of critical importance to our customers that we do everything we can to reduce our emissions as soon as possible,” said Zebrina Hanly, Royal Mail’s head of environment.

“Electric and hydrogen options for HGVs are still in their infancy, so while the technology and infrastructure are developing, our strategy is to keep emissions to a minimum by using HVO as a transitional fuel,” Hanly added.


Royal Mail has also introduced 5,000 electric vans as part of its fleet decarbonization.



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