In February 2022, we announced that we were piloting Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel as a sustainable alternative to diesel across a selected number of trucks and vans. ATC is one of Europe’s leading logistics, white glove and technical service companies for Data Centre clients, and we pride ourselves on being an early adopter when it comes to trialling and implementing new innovative technologies – especially when they could potentially help us as a business to reduce our carbon emissions.
At the beginning of 2023, we calculated that the amount of diesel fossil fuel we used in 2022 equates to 1,736 tonnes of CO2e (calculated well-to-wheel WTW, according to the Global Logistics Emissions Council Framework GLEC). We reduced our emissions using HVO for the trial vehicles by about 90% – a small step towards a greener future.
We are now delighted to announce that this trial was a triumphant success without any technical issues reported, which has led us to swap out diesel and the associated emissions for HVO in the majority of our fleet.
There are 2 Key-Findings from ATC’s HVO Trial:
Reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions:
When considering this trial and calculating our Scope I emissions, a figure that jumped out immediately was 1.9t CO2e. This number represents the GHG emitted per 1,000 litres of HVO burned, compared to a considerable 3.2 tonnes for every 1000 litres of diesel burned. This is a theoretically calculated emission reduction of about 59% using the European values of emission factors from the GLEC framework.
Depending on the raw materials used for the production process of renewable biodiesel, the absolute emission reduction can be over 90% compared to fossil fuel. In our case, we received a Renewable Fuel Emission Reduction Activity (RFERA) certificate from our supplier, which provides details of the feedstock (raw materials), country of origin for the feedstock etc., and states the actual GHG savings of 94% compared to fossil fuel as per the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII).
After presenting the findings of this trial in a business case to the board of management, the decision was made to adopt HVO as a bridge fuel for our entire fleet.
Technical and Operational Advantages of HVO:
Besides the mentioned sustainable benefits, HVO provides some important technical and operational advantages compared to diesel. HVO is made from renewable feedstock and lipids like vegetable oil, animal fats, and old greases. It exceeds diesel fuel’s physical and chemical properties and meets the EN15940 standard. HVO is a:
- low sulphur
- low aromatic
- oxidation stable, and
- completely fossil-free paraffinic hydrocarbon fuel making it one of the world’s cleanest fuels on the market.
In practical terms, the operational advantages of HVO are as follows:
- longer shelf-life
- superior cold weather properties, providing a better-starting performance of engines
- cleaner combustion and
- reduced AdBlue consumption
All of the above support a healthier engine that lasts longer and costs less.
Another advantage of HVO is that it is easy to switch to, and there are no additional investment requirements.
Driving Forward – The Move from HVO to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV):
While we have adopted HVO100 as our bridging fuel for now, ultimately, we will be transitioning into the electrification of our fleet for short and mid-range transportation and hydrogen technology for mid to long-haulage operations.
There’s great excitement among the team as we have already ordered the first two zero-emission 26t rigid battery-electric-trucks (BEV) for our Frankfurt entity, and we have started the RFQ process for another three BEV trucks for our Dublin and London operations. In addition, we have agreed on trials with the legendary Volta trucks – more on this to come very soon.
We also have several electric vans that have joined our fleet in the last couple of months – we encourage you to read our blog on the cost difference between diesel and electric light goods vehicles, where you will find some interesting insights.
We plan on addressing one of the challenges in electrifying our fleet by safeguarding a 100% green power supply from renewable sources for our charging infrastructures and office buildings. We are working on a project to maximise our photovoltaic system, integrate wind turbines and increase energy storage to make our headquarters in Baldonnell energy positive. Our own produced “green energy” is already being used to recharge our BEV fleet.
ATC’s promise is that we will strive to empower transformation to a more sustainable business for all our stakeholders, employees, the partners that we work with, and the communities in which we live and work.
Thank you for continuing to follow us on this journey, and we look forward to sharing more exciting fleet updates with you very soon.