Rose Sandell, Group Communities Director for Redrow explains why the housebuilder is trialling the use of Hydro Treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as part of their commitment to becoming a net zero business.
As one of the UK’s largest housebuilders, we’ve got a responsibility to meet the aim of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2050. This is, of course, not an insignificant challenge. Yet we believe that it is also a great opportunity to learn and innovate, and to future-proof the homes and communities we build.
As part of our commitment to becoming a net zero business, we’ve been trialling the use of Hydro Treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) on selected sites. As well as regular HVO fuel, we are trialling Green D+ HVO, an enhanced version of hydro treated vegetable oil that is renewable, biodegradable by 51 days and is a replacement for diesel in vehicles and machinery across the construction site.
On the surface this is a simple switch – that requires no special equipment of modifications to existing machinery and generators – but one that can have a marked impact.
Made from 100% renewable waste, HVO helps minimise the impact of a construction site on local air quality, with HVO delivering a 90% reduction in CO2e emissions, up to 30% reduction in Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and up to 86% reduction in particulate matter emitted via exhaust gases.
Using HVO as an alternative fuel is just one example of how we are exploring new ways of meeting our ambitious net zero targets. These trials enable us to understand the practicalities of working with a different fuel and to find solutions to the challenges that working with HVO currently presents. It is key for us that whatever solutions we adopt on our path to Net Zero are easy to operate and affordable to run.
However, this is not the first step we have taken to reduce our impact on the planet. We’re collaborating with our supply chain partners to drive innovation and we’re undertaking trials to improve energy efficiency. An example of this is the introduction of air source heat pumps as a trial alternative to traditional gas heating. Air source heat pumps are much more energy efficient than a traditional gas boiler because they extract heat from the environment. They also reduce local air pollutants like nitrogen dioxide that is emitted by boilers.
Ultimately, it’s all about creating a better way for our customers to live. We do this by creating thriving communities, building responsibly and valuing people. We were delighted to secure a position as one of the Financial Times Europe's Climate Leaders in June 2021 and in October 2021 we were awarded Bronze at the Global Good Awards 2021, recognising the great work of our ‘Reduce the Rubble’ campaign. All are testament to our commitment to becoming net zero.