London Gatwick has cut carbon emissions from its diesel vehicles by 90% by swapping the fuel for HVO

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a low-carbon biofuel made from plant waste, oils and fats making it a more sustainable and lower-carbon alternative to diesel. The switch means Gatwick will save more than 950 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum, the airport said.

All 300 diesel vehicles, 85% of London Gatwick’s fleet, are now powered by HVO until they are retired from use. They will then be replaced by electric vehicles as part of the airport’s sustainability policy, known as Decade of Change

Some of the vehicles that are now powered by HVO include all the airport’s fire engines, airside operations vehicles and snow ploughs. An extensive trial concluded that HVO had no impact on the performance of the vehicles, meaning the fire engines still have the capability to respond to call outs anywhere on the airfield within three minutes. 

Steve Kelso, head of engineering at London Gatwick, said: “The implementation of hydrotreated vegetable oil to power our 300 diesel vehicles is an exciting milestone for London Gatwick’s sustainability journey and a big step in our fleet transition. It is vital we invest in sustainably sourced HVO to reduce emissions in all areas as soon as possible on our journey to reach net zero for our own Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030. 

“From the buses that pick passengers up from the long-stay car parks, to operations vehicles that patrol the airfield, HVO is now being used to fuel vehicles throughout the airport. As we continue to grow, we are making sustainability part of everything we do here at London Gatwick and we are committed to finding solutions and working differently to meet our ambitious targets.”

In 2023, London Gatwick accelerated its commitment to be net zero for its own Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2030, ten years ahead of its previous commitment. The airport will invest more than £250m to replace all vehicles, gas boilers and refrigerants with low carbon alternatives. Gatwick will also continue to reduce overall energy use, invest in on-site renewable energy, including solar power, and continue to source 100% renewable electricity.

The move to HVO is a small but important step for London Gatwick and part of much wider and ambitious plans to also address Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, which account for the largest impact at the airport. 


HVO is now being used to fuel vehicles across the airport
HVO is now being used to fuel vehicles across the airport London Gatwick Airport