Reduce the impact of transport

Transport accounts for over a quarter of the UK’s total carbon emissions. By planning routes and using vehicles more efficiently you can reduce your impact and save money. Find out what other measures you can take and the benefits involved.

Drive less

Take the following measures:

  • walk, cycle or take public transport
  • encourage employees to do the same with a workplace travel plan
  • arrange video conferences instead of face-to-face business meetings

Switch to electric or low emissions vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs)

There is a growing range of zero or low emission EVs you can buy, rent or lease. Compared to petrol and diesel vehicles they have lower running and repair bills.

Government discounts are available to reduce upfront costs. You can also get a government grant for installing EV charge points at your home or workplace.

Find out more about electric vehicles.

Low emissions petrol or diesel vehicles

If switching to electric vehicles is not an option, choose petrol or diesel vehicles with lower emissions. Generally, the smaller and newer the vehicle, the less emissions it will produce.

Find information about running costs, fuel efficiency and emissions per car model.

In summary:

  • diesel engines produce less carbon emissions and are more efficient for longer journeys and motorway driving
  • petrol engines produce less all-round emissions and are more efficient for shorter journeys and urban driving

Alternative fuel vehicles

Vehicles are also available which run on:

  • hydrogen
  • solar power
  • biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel

Learn more about alternative fuels.

Use vehicles more efficiently

You can benefit from using vehicles in a safer, more fuel-efficient way. Take the following measures:

  • keep tyres correctly inflated
  • check and service vehicles regularly
  • only use heating, air conditioning or mobile charging when strictly needed
  • drive more mindfully – anticipate what is ahead, go easy on brakes and acceleration
  • use fuel efficiently – driving at 50-60 mph produces less emissions than driving at 70-80mph
  • use GPS tracking software – to monitor and improve driver efficiency

This will help you:

  • cut fuel bills and improve MPG (miles per gallon)
  • reduce wear, tear and accidents
  • get lower insurance premiums

Train your drivers

You can train drivers to operate more efficiently. Find a driver training supplier near you.

Plan your routes

If you deliver products or services, effective route-planning can save you fuel and money:

  • avoid heavy traffic and peak travel times
  • optimise transport routes to reduce mileage
  • combine multiple shorter journeys into one long journey

Freight – use rail or water

Road freight carried in trucks is responsible for over a quarter of all transport emissions. Transporting freight by rail or water reduces the impact.

Grant funding is available to cover additional operational costs:

Make your vehicles more aerodynamic

If you use trucks, they can be fitted with the following aerodynamic devices to reduce drag and improve performance:

  • a cab top deflector
  • cab rear sidewings
  • chassis sideskirts
  • vortex generators

Greener supply chain

Check how green your suppliers are by requesting information about their environmental policies. Use local businesses where possible.

Find out more information about greener supply chains.

Benefits

Advantages of taking measures to reduce transport impact:

  • savings on fuel
  • improved efficiency in operations
  • increased consumer and investor confidence in your brand
  • being more attractive to buyers as they seek a greener supply chain
  • preparation for future laws and regulations
  • attract and retain employees who care about the environment

Taxes and discounts

By using electric or low emissions vehicles you will receive exemption from:

What’s coming next

As part of the UK’s net zero strategy, more low emission zones will be introduced in cities throughout 2021.

The sale of all new petrol or diesel cars will end in 2030, leading manufacturers to invest more in the production and improvement of EVs. Battery range and charging efficiency are expected to increase over time.

Emissions from long-distance road freight (large trucks), aviation and shipping will be more difficult to eliminate. The potential for battery electricity to run planes, ships and large trucks is limited by the range and power required.

However, hydrogen fuel-cell technology is being developed for use in heavy-duty vehicles. The UK’s first hydrogen-fueled train was also introduced in September 2020.