Sittingbourne-based Nicholls Transport has cut its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by almost 200% in just three months by running an LNG-powered fleet featuring the 44-tonne Iveco Stralis.
As orginally reported by our sister publication Motor Transport, the Kent family firm provides bespoke distribution and haulage services across the UK, Northern France, Belgium and Holland and has a client base that includes Nestle UK, Nestle Waters, SAPPI, Knauf, ATA Timber, Rowlinson Timber, C&D Pet foods and Stora Enso.
The company operates a fleet of 115 trucks, of which 29 are powered by biomethane LNG derived from dry manure, provided by Gasrec. It also has another 30 of the LNG-powered Iveco Stralis on order as part of its ongoing replacement programme.
According to the firm’s latest Renewable Fuel Declaration, produced by the Zemo Partnership, in the three months to September 2022 the trucks achieved an A+ rating and GHG emissions savings of 191% compared to their diesel powered equivalents.
Rob Gearing, Nicholls Transport head of commercial and business development, told MT: “This possibly makes us one of the greenest hauliers in the UK running LNG trucks.”
He added: “This represents a massive saving on C02 due to the fuel being derived from dry manure which would otherwise be emitting methane into the atmosphere. Instead it is used to produce the biomethane so it is a double saving, hence why it is over 100%.”
MD Paul Nicholls is committed to cutting the company’s carbon emissions. In 2019 he took the decision to invest in LNG trucks and install an LNG refuelling station on site.
The haulage firm, which is one of Iveco’s Green Ambassador companies, has also installed photovoltaic cells on the roofs of its office block, workshop and warehouse and now produces enough electricity to power the entire site. It also captures all the rainwater that falls on the site and recycles this to use in its truck wash.
The company’s commitment to cutting its GHG emissions was severely tested last year when the outbreak of the Ukraine war saw LNG costs rocket.
However despite this adding an additional £300,000 to the bottom line last year, the company stuck it out.
“In the period the certificate covers, from July to September, whilst others were parking up their gas fleet because of the cost of gas, we continued to use them and covered over 277,000 miles,” Gearing recalled.
However the family firm believes the results are well worth the additional temporary hike in LNG prices.
Gearing explained: “By using LNG trucks instead of diesel we have delivered a massive saving of 449 tonnes of C02,” which he said is making a palpable impact on slowing climate change.
“Approximately three square metres of Arctic sea ice is lost per one tonne of C02 produced, so based on just us saving 100% carbon emissions, we would have saved 1,347 square metres of Arctic sea ice -
if you take into account that our certificate is for 191%, in total that is 857 tonnes saved, which equals a saving of 2,571 square metres of sea ice.”
He added: “It has not been easy but we believe in what we are doing. This has not been driven by customers - although we have more and more customers asking us to be green - this has been driven by the Nicholls family who are absolutely committed to this policy.”