Net Zero

13 JUN 2023


The Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani MP joined industry leaders to launch a plan to eliminate the use of diesel from most UK construction sites.

Over the last year, representatives from across the industry have collaborated on the development of the Zero Diesel Sites Route Map, a key element of the Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstruct Zero programme to decarbonise the industry.

The launch took place on HS2’s Old Oak Common Station construction site, which is progressing towards cleaner construction as part of HS2’s target for all its sites to be diesel-free by 2029.

Following consultation on a draft plan late last year, the route map confirms the industry will put support in place to roll out hydrogen, electricity and other cleaner power sources.

It will promote early wins by boosting efficiency and cutting diesel use by existing plant and asking companies to reduce the use of diesel generators, as well as helping businesses to develop their own company’s diesel reduction plans.

The Zero Diesel Sites Route Map also involves engaging with clients to secure commitments that ban diesel use and tracking data on industry diesel consumption to confirm progress over time.

There are currently an estimated 300,000 items of non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) used by the UK construction sector.

Typically, such plant is powered by diesel consuming 2.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), generating significant carbon emissions.

The Zero Diesel Sites Route Map sets out practical measures to reduce this volume by 78% by 2035, in line with the UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget published in 2021.

Nusrat Ghani, Minister for Industry and Economic Security, said: “Cutting carbon emissions in construction is vital to achieving our net zero ambitions by 2050.

"That’s why I’m pleased to see the leadership the sector is showing by publishing this new Route Map, helping us move forward towards a cleaner, greener industrial future.”

Neil Wait, head of environmental delivery at HS2 Ltd and Chair of the Zero Diesel Route Map Working Group, said: “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."

He added the launch of the Zero Diesel Sites Route Map was 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,” he said.

Matt Palmer, CO2nstruct Zero programme sponsor and executive director, Lower Thames Crossing said: “One of the strengths of the Construction Leadership Council is its ability to bring the industry together to identify and commit to actions that will change our sector for the better.

"The Zero Diesel Route Map is a perfect example of this, setting a clear mission that everyone can sign up to support.”


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