Ocado has invested £3 million to begin moving its fleet onto natural gas in an effort to cut its emissions.
The online grocer has installed a natural gas refuelling station at its Hatfield Customer Fulfilment Centre.
In addition, 29 vehicles of its HGV fleet or 20% of the total will now run on blended biomethane, a form of compressed natural gas, rather than diesel.
The move will reduce CO2 emissions by the fleet by 29% annually, leading to a 99% reduction in emissions of particulates and 70% less nitrogen oxide.
Ocado has signed a ten-year contract with fuel supplier Gasrec for the vehicles which will include support and maintenance. The grocer will invest further in natural gas technology at future sites.
Graham Thomas, fleet services manager at Ocado, said: “By investing in gas-powered vehicles, and in our first onsite refuelling station, we’re future-proofing our fleet and our business.
“Emissions from CNG are cleaner than Euro VI standards which start to take effect with the London Low Emissions Zone from April, and will soon be followed by a further 32 Clean Air Zones.”
Suzanne Westlake, head of corporate responsibility at Ocado said: “The exciting work we’re doing with alternative fuels plays a huge part in becoming even more carbon efficient, helping us get closer to our goal of being the UK’s most environmentally responsible supermarket.”
The UK Government launched its “Road to Zero” strategy in 2018, which includes a target for HGVs to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 15% between 2015 and 2025.
The majority of home deliveries currently rely on diesel cars, which emit nitrogen oxide as well as carbon dioxide. Other retailers are trialling solutions such as delivery by bicycle or electric vehicles.
French retailer Galeries Lafayette is working with start-up Akuo Energy to use hydrogen in its last mile delivery vehicles.
Image credit: Gasrec