Construction of HS2, which plans to make its sites diesel-free

Construction industry aims to be almost diesel-free by 2035

Construction leaders have committed to going diesel-free on most sites by 2035.

The Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstruct Zero task force published a route map towards diesel-free operation. In fact, this is part of the wider plan to decarbonise the industry.

Accepting the scale of the challenge, it sets out the first practical measures to reduce by 78% diesel volumes by 2035.

This would keep pace with the UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget of 2021.

Presently, there are 300,000 items of construction plant consuming 2.5 million tonnes of diesel oil equivalent (Mtoe). As a result, this generates significant carbon emissions.

The launch of the route map was at HS2’s Old Oak Common Station construction site.

Minister for Industry and Economic Security, Nusrat Ghani, was in attendance.

Neil Wait, Head of Environmental Delivery at HS2 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 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.

“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.”

HS2 is aiming to make all its sites diesel-free by 2029.

In summary, the route map confirms the industry will:

  • Support the rollout of 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
  • Help firms develop their own diesel reduction plans
  • Engage clients to secure commitments that ban diesel use.