Doncaster’s Eland Cables switches entire 50-strong HGV fleet to biofuel

The switch to sustainable biofuels is part of a programme of works to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

A Doncaster-based electrical cable supplier supporting critical infrastructure, has invested in switching its 50-strong fleet of HGVs (heavy goods vehicles) from diesel to sustainable biofuels as part of a programme of works to significantly reduce carbon emissions.  The firm is encouraging other industrial operations around Yorkshire to consider a similar transition of fuels.

Eland Cables is one of Europe’s fastest growing cable suppliers, working with clients including Network Rail on large-scale electrification and decarbonisation projects., Their own sustainability measures as they journey to Net Zero include installing solar panels that generate as much electricity as they consume annually, including charging their electric vehicles, as well as establishing a cable recycling facility. Yet with logistics a major contributor to carbon emissions and delivery a key service for customers across Europe, it was a natural focus for action.

Deborah Graham Wilson, Head of Communications & ESG at Eland Cables, commented:  “Switching from diesel to biofuels for our HGV fleet has been a game-changer in terms of carbon emissions reduction and environmental protection in our logistics. It’s more than just a gesture – by using a RED-II compliant biofuel (a sustainable form of hydrotreated vegetable oil) it’s helping to reduce fleet CO2 and other harmful emissions by around 90%.

“With renewable energy projects, industrial automation, and anything involving power distribution, control or data and signal transfer requiring cables, the role of cables continues to grow. There’s no escaping the fact that transportation is a big contributor to the overall embodied emissions in any cable product. It sits behind the extraction and processing of raw materials, and the cable manufacturing process itself.”

The technology for electric and hydrogen powered trucks are still very much in its infancy, requiring staggering investment at this early stage – for almost everyone moving large, heavy products across long distances, it’s not yet commercially viable. Eland Cables, like many companies with a fleet, looked at their comparatively new vehicles with Euro6 rated efficient engines and saw both a challenge and an opportunity.

“After a trial and comparative study last year, we made the decision to install a 200,000 litres fuel tank at our main operations site. Our fleet has been running on biofuel as the principal fuel (and for many of our UK & Ireland based vehicles, their sole fuel) for more than 8 months now. Of course, where necessary diesel can be used as a top-up as it’s not readily available at filling stations yet, but the added bonus is that onsite refuelling eliminates the short but regular journeys to nearby petrol stations – in itself adding up to considerable annual mileage.”

“The switch was based on environmental benefits, and we chose to assume the costs rather than pass it onto our customers. Yet as sustainability becomes a key differentiator in choosing suppliers and partners, it’s already proving to be worthwhile commercially too.”

“We don’t have all the answers: we’ll continue to review and adopt measures which bring environmental gains, including advances in transport technology. In the meantime, we’re doing all we can to have a positive impact.”

At home and internationally, Eland Cables has become a pivotal player in the supply of electrical cables for large-scale electrification, digitalisation, and renewable energy projects.

The firm, whose operations have been based in South Yorkshire for more than 30 years, works on power distribution, automation and control projects across industries including Rail, Renewables, Mining, and Manufacturing. Projects can range from hyperscale data centres often with renewable electricity generation and innovative cooling solutions, located across Europe, the Nordics and Africa, to the eMobility and the EV charging network infrastructure which too is underpinned by cables.

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Energy and Environment:

Doncaster is leading the way in the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority drive for carbon neutrality by 2040, a full 10 years ahead of the national target.

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