Construction sites to eliminate diesel by 2035 under new plan

Construction worker in safety gloovs filling excavator with diesel fuel on building site

Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani has joined industry leaders to launch a plan to eliminate the use of diesel from most UK construction sites by 2035.

Representatives from across the industry have collaborated on the development of the Zero Diesel Sites Route Map.

The Route Map confirms the industry will:

  • Put in place support to roll out hydrogen, electricity and other cleaner power sources.
  • Promote early wins by boosting efficiency and cutting diesel use by existing plant, and asking companies to reduce the use of diesel generators.
  • Helping businesses to develop their own company’s diesel reduction plans.
  • Engaging with clients to secure commitments that ban diesel use.
  • 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 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, 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.

“Today’s 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.”

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