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Separating Fact From Fiction on Alternative Fuels: Why should I be considering an alternative?

Alternative liquid fuels offer an immediate option that contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in the construction industry can take to protect the environment, comply with legislation and improve quality of life for their operatives and impact on communities. Yet many construction businesses state that a lack of proven results around these fuels is a key barrier to adopting alternative fuels.

Certas Energy has created The Alternative Guide to Navigating the New Energy Mix to bust some of the myths that could be holding businesses back from making the necessary transition to a low emission future.

Here, we explore one of the most widespread alternative fuels myths:

FICTION: “Only a limited number of construction businesses are using alternative fuels, and few others are likely to consider them – why should I?”

13% of businesses say the biggest barrier is a lack of proven results around alternative fuels…


..yet 69% of businesses would consider switching in the next 12 months.

FACT: Adoption is growing as knowledge, choice and supply increases.

While research reveals that there is currently low awareness and usage of alternative fuels in the UK construction industry – with only 12% of construction businesses aware of the GTL solution and just 2% across sectors using alternative fuels – the businesses that currently rely on alternative fuels to power their operations are leaders in their field.

In the construction industry alone there are a significant number of cases where leading companies have deployed alternative fuels such as GTL Fuel to reduce levels of harmful local pollutants without disrupting productivity. Being a ‘drop-in’ fuel, GTL Fuel can be used as a direct replacement for conventional diesel fuels, suitable for both on-road and off-road applications without the need for engine modifications.

As well as reducing emissions of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) GTL Fuel can also address two social value priorities – less noise (47%) and less odour (40%) – improving well-being for operatives and reducing the impact on the communities contractors operate in.

Infrastructure specialist J Murphy & Sons was the first UK construction company to deploy the fuel as part of a project to divert two existing high pressure gas pipelines as part of the construction of the new High Speed Rail 2 railway.

GTL Fuel is also playing a key role in reducing the environmental impact of Jackson Civil Engineering’s operations on the Environment Agency’s Perry Barr and Witton Flood Management Scheme. As well as reducing the company’s environmental impacts as a result of its biodegradability and lower emissions, GTL Fuel helped to create a healthier working environment and reduce disruption to the local community by producing less odour, smoke and engine noise than conventional diesel.

Leading construction and infrastructure company, Morgan Sindall has also demonstrated its commitment to improving air quality by adopting GTL Fuel. Director of Sustainability and Procurement at Morgan Sindall, Graham Edgell commented: “Protecting local communities, our workforce and improving the environment is central to our values which is why we’ve worked closely with Certas Energy to realise our first delivery of GTL Fuel to further reduce our on-site emissions. GTL Fuel is an innovative solution that can make an immediate difference and we look forward to continuing to work together with Certas Energy to help improve local air quality and deliver benefits to our workforce and the communities we work in.”

For a detailed look at why alternative fuels should be a prominent part of the construction industry’s energy mix, download The Alternative Guide to Navigating the New Energy Mix for free here.

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