Crown Oil Sustainability Update
The Crown Oil Group is undergoing a period of significant change as we reposition ourselves towards our goal of net zero by 2030. As the consequences of climate change are becoming ever more apparent, we feel it’s our duty to lead by example and put our money where our mouth is.
As a leading UK fuel supplier, we acknowledge that our operations influence the local, regional and global environment and feel this gives us an even greater responsibility than most. That’s why we’ve put sustainability at the core of our business and are going above and beyond to find ways to reduce our environmental impact.
Aiming for net zero by 2030 is a bold move but one that proves our commitment to doing what is right for both our business and the planet.
Our investment in renewable fuels
In 2019, the Crown Oil Group took a decision to invest in the renewable fuel market and imported our first shipment of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil). Up until this point, UK fuel distributors had limited choices when it came to the decarbonisation of energy and therefore few tools in which to demonstrate our commitment to our net zero objectives.
First generation biodiesel has been long established in the UK and is even mandated at minimum levels in road transportation and non-road mobile machinery fuels. However, the technical limitations imposed by this technology have limited its roll-out to relatively low-level blends in fossil fuels.
HVO is a second-generation renewable fuel, which offers very high levels of decarbonisation, but crucially can be deployed as a 100% neat fuel, offering excellent deployment capability as a drop-in replacement for diesel fuel. Whilst HVO is an established technology used extensively in Europe already, it had been limited to niche applications in the UK. Crown Oil realised the benefits of this fuel and decided that now was the time to become part of the solution to global warming rather than being seen as a part of the problem.
During 2021, we took on a further leadership role within the UK’s fuel distribution industry by switching all our vehicles to run on fossil free HVO fuel, saving approximately 3080 tonnes of greenhouse CO2 emissions per year. This move has now been adopted by others in the market, thus helping to drive the change needed.
Our carbon neural commitment
Crown Oil continues to improve our environmental and sustainability performance by committing to ambitious targets and objectives that challenge us all within the Group, ensuring that sustainability is embedded within our culture. The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance of the Group continually evolves and is an area our staff and customers are showing higher levels of interest in, with particular scrutiny on how the Group is managing these risks.
We believe that actions rather than words are needed when trying to improve the sustainability performance of an organisation and embarked on a journey to fully understand our present environmental impact with a detailed and transparent carbon footprint study. This covers all aspects of our operations (Scopes 1, 2 and 3), as well as identifying and delivering carbon reduction projects, and compensating for residual emissions with the use of offsets, while being aware of the challenges and improvements needed with this approach.
To push our ambitions forward, we took the decision to become a validated Carbon Neutral business, gaining accreditation in the first quarter of 2022 in line with the PAS 2060 international standard. We see this as a stepping stone to transform the Group into a more efficient, cleaner and safer company and as such, we have set the ambitious target to become a net zero company by 2030.
What’s next for Crown Oil?
Tackling climate change is one of a number of global challenges the world is facing and by making this pledge, we are showing that even those sectors traditionally seen as being polluters can make a huge difference and contribute to the energy transition the world needs.
As businesses transform to meet this target, our aim is to continue to safely meet our customers’ demand for energy and products whilst ensuring our operations are sustainable and profitable as we improve the UK market’s access to greener alternative fuels and energy sources.
Over the next 5 years our carbon reduction strategy will reduce our overall carbon footprint by 60% (20/21 baseline). To achieve this, we are implementing an extensive number of carbon reduction measures throughout our operations which will allow us to achieve our target.
In the short/medium term, the Group will still be reliant on fossil fuels to operate profitably. The income generated from these sales is allowing us to significantly diversify our product offering and increase our investment in greener alternative products for the UK market.
By 2025 we expect our investment in greener fuels to have risen 1000% compared to 2020 and forecast continual growth in this sector.
Due to demand for our products, the distribution business will still be reliant upon our network of trusted 3rd party suppliers and delivery partners. In order to mitigate the impact on the environment from these, all deliveries made on our behalf will be carbon neutral as we continue to offset the delivery mileage, as we have since 2007. In addition to this, we are also now excited to offer our customers the opportunity to offset the emissions from the fuel they purchase throughout our product range.
Other investments include running all sites on renewable energy, the installation of solar panels on our buildings, improving the energy efficiency of pumping equipment, switching our vans to electric as they come to the end of their lease, continually upgrading lighting and the efficiency of office equipment and installing heat recovery ventilation in the offices.
We also have plans in place to install electric charging points in our staff car parks in the coming months to promote the use of EVs and are already offering our customers temporary fuel stations so they can trial HVO without the need to remove or clean their old diesel storage tanks.
As the Group navigates through these changing times, we thank all our staff and customers as they support and challenge us to meet our targets, ensuring sustainability is at the heart of everything we do.