SMT GB swaps to HVO fuel

Following the conclusion of the UK's red diesel rebate for equipment in the construction and mineral products sectors in April 2022, SMT GB says it took the opportunity to assess all of the available alternative fuel options.
Loading, Hauling & Excavation / November 7, 2023
By Liam McLoughlin
An SMT GB technician refuels a Volvo ECR235E excavator with HVO fuel. Image: SMT GB
An SMT GB technician refuels a Volvo ECR235E excavator with HVO fuel. Image: SMT GB

The construction equipment, material handling and recycling equipment distributor's operations director Garry Wilcock says that once SMB GB's time using red diesel came to an end, it assessed all of the available fuelling options, and made the conscious business decision to switch to HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) fuel.

“This led us to invest significantly in our facilities to accommodate this new fuel, which we wholeheartedly believe has been worthwhile when the environmental benefits of using HVO fuel are considered,” Wilcock adds.

HVO is a diesel-like fuel derived from animal, plant or algae remains. It differs from standard diesel in that it is not made from petroleum oil, but waste and by-products of the global food industry, such as animal fat or used cooking oil.

HVO converts food industry waste into a useful generator of resources, and it is also both a renewable and sustainable fuel. SMT GB says the sustainability of its HVO fuel is assured through the certificates provided by Zemo under the Renewable Fuel Assurance Scheme, which guarantees that it has been made from waste products and not blended with any other fuels.

But the benefits of HVO fuel extend far beyond reducing waste. Explaining the main benefit of HVO fuel to SMT GB, quality, environmental, safety and health manager Paul Burr states: “There is around a 90% reduction in total scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions from using HVO fuel over diesel, so it was an obvious decision for us to take when we looked at it from an environmental perspective. Added to this, it reduces emissions of some of the key air pollutants by around 30%, which is helping authorities in their efforts to meet local and national air quality standards.”

Burr adds that SMT GB is committed to achieving net zero by 2040, a highly ambitious target, but that using HVO fuel is greatly helping the company along the road to achieving it. "It also assists our customers in their own journeys to net zero,” he asys.

Providing reassurance that HVO is safe to use, Volvo CE has tested the fuel across its entire engine range, and found it to cause no damage to engines or components and, in some instances, actually increase fuel efficiency.

To allay concerns even further, SMT GB only engages with fuel suppliers who are able to prove the point of origin of the waste and by-products used to create their HVO. This ensures that the HVO fuel supplied to SMT GB is fully certified and truly created from ethical and sustainable sources.

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