London Borough of Hackney

Cleaning up one of the largest local authority fleets in London

sep 20 / 2021

the challenge

The London Borough of Hackney made a commitment to improve air quality, after its annual concentration of NOx was measured to exceed safe levels by 50% in 2010. Air quality was judged to be unsafe at more than 27 local schools, and a probable cause of a third of health problems in residents.

Across the borough, road transport was found to be the highest contributor to NOx, and its most urgent issue to address. LBH itself runs more than 470 refuse collection vehicles. One of the largest local authority fleets in London – it has set a target to make every one of them ultra low emission vehicles by 2028. But electric technology currently doesn’t support this kind of transformation – and wouldn’t enable the kind of fast change needed by Hackney.

“In 2010, pollution was judged to be a probable cause of a third of health problems in Hackney residents.”

the solution

In 2019, we started supplying Gd+ HVO to Hackney, who then used the fuel across its fleet of Refuse Collection Vehicles. LBH was able to directly replace its previous fuel without any kind of operational change or maintenance. That means the borough was able to reduce fleet carbon emissions dramatically – and improve local air quality for residents – without any capital expenditure.


​The improvements in local air quality through using Gd+ HVO were immediate and significant. LBH studied the emissions of their vehicles when using three different types of fuel: Diesel, Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils and Gd+ HVO. With Gd+ HVO they measured a decrease in NOx levels of 29%, and PM reduction of 85%, over standard diesel on an equivalent Refuse Vehicle. Hackney continues to run its fleet on Gd+ HVO.

In 2021, thanks to this and other measures taken by Hackney, the average annual NOx concentration in the borough was shown to have reduced to well below target levels.

THE statistics