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UK Construction Sector Moving Away From Diesel - A Sustainable Future

20th June 2023


The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has unveiled its groundbreaking clean fuel strategy, aiming to significantly reduce diesel usage on construction sites throughout the UK. With a target to eliminate diesel from the majority of construction sites by 2035, this forward-thinking plan is the result of a year-long collaboration between construction representatives. The centerpiece of this strategy is the Zero Diesel Sites Route Map, which forms a crucial part of the CLC's comprehensive program to decarbonise the industry.

Through the implementation of practical measures outlined in the Route Map, the construction industry is poised to achieve a remarkable 78% reduction in diesel volume over the next decade. This concerted effort aligns the industry with the ambitious goals set forth in the Sixth Carbon Budget.

Currently, the UK construction sector uses approximately 300,000 non-road mobile machinery units. Leading the way in diesel-free initiatives is HS2, which successfully transitioned its Canterbury Road Vent Shaft site away from diesel last year. Moreover, HS2 has committed to making all of its sites diesel-free by 2029.

After thorough consultation on a draft plan, the Route Map affirms the industry's commitment to facilitate the adoption of hydrogen, electricity, and other cleaner power sources. Concurrently, companies will be encouraging efficiency by reducing their reliance on diesel generators.

The transition to low-carbon primary energy sources not only contributes to environmental sustainability but also presents growth opportunities for companies involved in supplying equipment and services. To facilitate this transition, construction companies are advised to collaborate closely with existing fuel suppliers to ensure early fulfillment of demand and the implementation of realistic plans for delivering low-carbon hydrogen to construction sites.

Neil Wait, HS2 Ltd's Head of Environmental Delivery and Chair of the Zero Diesel Route Map Working Group, expressed his optimism regarding this initiative, stating, "The carbon challenge we face is significant and can only be overcome if we show real determination in a push for change. HS2 Ltd has played a key role in the development of the Route Map and is already making great progress with 19 diesel-free construction sites on the project."

"This launch is a tangible demonstration of the industry's shared commitment to radically cut our reliance on diesel. I would encourage companies to get involved and support the move towards cleaner, greener construction,"

With the CLC's clean fuel strategy and the comprehensive measures outlined in the Zero Diesel Sites Route Map, the UK construction industry is poised to lead the way in sustainable practices, making significant strides towards a greener and more environmentally conscious future.

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