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Pictured: Falkirk Council Leader, Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn (far right) and Cllr Bryan Deakin, spokesperson for Climate Change (in cab), with members of the Council's Environment & Operations management team.

Falkirk Council is powering ahead with its goal to operate a greener fleet having introduced Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as a fuel source for all 24 of its bin lorries.

The ground-breaking initiative marks a significant step forward in the Council's commitment to reducing emissions and promoting environmental stewardship through the establishment of a green fleet.

Earlier this year, the Council embarked on a three-year, £5-million initiative to create a more sustainable fleet. As part of its efforts, the local authority has introduced 43 electric vehicles so far this year, bringing the total number of electric-powered cars and vans it operates to 129.

Council Leader, Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn hears about the benefits of the green fleet

Pictured (left to right): Mark Cox, Fleet Manager, and Douglas Gardiner, Head of Environment & Operations, talk to Council Leader, Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn about the Council's green fleet.

However, due to the current limited mileage range and high cost of electric-powered heavy goods vehicles like bin lorries, the Council decided HVO - a diesel alternative that reduces net carbon emissions by up to 90% - was a positive step towards reducing carbon emissions while awaiting advancements in technology.

Moving to HVO required limited investment due to the transition being a simple fuel swap, which meant no vehicle modifications were needed as the fleet could immediately run off the high-grade alternative fuel derived from waste plant matter.

Crews and drivers have been extremely positive about the move, stating the switch has had no impact on the driving experience and there have been no reported breakdowns or mechanical issues associated with HVO.

The council is actively promoting the use of HVO as an alternative, green fuel - and hopes others will be inspired to follow suit

Pictured: The Council is actively promoting the use of HVO in the hope it will inspire others to follow suit.

The Council now plans to expand the use of the biofuel to other diesel vehicles in its fleet, with the aim of achieving a total carbon emissions reduction through the adoption of HVO of 2,000 tonnes over the next 12 months.

It is also actively promoting the use of HVO and its green fleet, raising awareness through decals on its vehicles which helps to visibly showcase its commitment to sustainability and encourage other companies to follow suit.

Cllr Bryan Deakin, spokesperson for Climate Change, highlighted Falkirk Council’s early adoption of HVO as an alternative fuel.

He said:

"We were among the first Scottish councils to trial HVO, transitioning a number of our refuse and roads vehicles to HVO biofuel. The success of that pilot confirmed HVO as an affordable and effective alternative to diesel, capable of potentially cutting up to 90% of carbon emissions from vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. By transitioning our large vehicles to HVO, we reinforce our commitment to supporting a thriving economy and green transition by reducing emissions and improving air quality. The move also positions us as a leader in eco-friendly practices, which we hope will inspire others to follow suit."