Milestone Infrastructure, a part of M Group Services, is working with Oxfordshire County Council to deliver the Council’s first diesel-free highways improvement project. Milestone has been using hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) at the Council’s A40 Oxford North site, a highways scheme on the northwest edge of Oxford, between the Wolvercote roundabout and the A34 flyover. The scheme began in March 2021 and will run until April 2022. All plant and welfare facilities on the site are now powered entirely by HVO which, on average, reduces carbon by around 90%.

It is estimated that the use of HVO will save 219 tonnes of carbon in one year* on the Oxford North scheme -  the equivalent of planting more than 10,000 trees and 268 direct flights from London to New York. Councillor Duncan Enright, Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy, said: “One of the key aims of our improvement works along the A40 is to reduce carbon emissions and promote more sustainable transport. And it is equally important that we work with our partners to minimise the environmental impact of the works that will bring our plans to fruition.

“We need to lead by example and support climate action in all that we do, and I’m delighted to see our project team working innovatively with our partners to deliver significant reductions in our carbon production on this scheme. It’s only through innovative solutions like this that we can achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Mark Shopland, Operations Manager at Milestone Infrastructure, said: “We are delighted to have successfully implemented the use of HVO across all plant and welfare facilities on the A40 scheme. As a business, we are committed to delivering our work in an environmentally responsible manner and this means continually reviewing our processes to see where improvements can be made. “By reducing our carbon output so significantly, we can provide a tangible benefit to the people of Oxfordshire and future generations who will hopefully reap the rewards of our responsible environmental practices.”

* In the past, construction plant and welfare facilities have been powered by diesel, which emits approximately 3.12kg of carbon per litre used. With the scheme using 1,500 litres of fuel per week, this meant that using diesel would result in a carbon output of 4,680kg per week. If used for a whole year, this equates to 243 tonnes of carbon being emitted.

Milestone Infrastructure is rolling out the use of HVO across all of its operational fleet in 2021 and early 2022, which will support the transition to a low carbon fleet where suitable electric vehicles are not available. It has committed to being net zero carbon by 2040, with interim targets of a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 and 60% reduction by 2030. EV100 is the Climate Group’s initiative to bring together forward-thinking companies that are committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles. As an essential part of this, M Group Services has committed to electrifying 7,100 vehicles from its fleet of over 8,000 (the fifth largest in the UK) by 2030, and will also install 75 charging locations for use by its people and clients.

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