7 Ways Efficient Route Planning Cuts GHG Emissions and Saves Costs

Greenhouse gas emissions, also known by the abbreviation GHG emissions, are gasses that trap heat in the atmosphere. They occur naturally and through human activity. The gasses include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gasses.

The emissions are caused in multiple ways. For instance, the car you drive likely emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If it is a gasoline engine, during combustion, it will produce CO2 as a byproduct.

Coal-based electricity is another big offender of GHG emissions. When you turn on lights or appliances in your home powered by such electricity, you are indirectly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

ways you can cut GHG emissions and save costs with efficient route planning

On a larger scale, industries contribute significantly to GHG emissions due to extensive manufacturing processes. Agricultural activities play a part too, as they frequently involve releasing methane. Landfills also release methane and CO2 over time.

From small daily actions to large industrial processes, all contribute effectively towards these harmful gasses being released into our atmosphere.

Greenhouse gas emissions pose serious dangers to our planet. They are a major cause of global warming. This warming leads to climate change, producing disastrous weather patterns such as hurricanes and droughts. It also causes sea levels to rise, threatening coastal communities.

Emitting these gasses also disrupts crucial ecosystems and puts endangered species at increased risk. Also, poor air quality due to greenhouse gasses can inflict severe health effects on humans, like respiratory diseases and heart problems.

The dangers of greenhouse gas emissions are undeniable. But by doing small things, you can play a role in helping to reduce them. One simple way to do that is by efficiently planning the routes you drive. Furthermore, efficient route planning can help you save money.

So, let’s take a look at seven ways you can cut GHG emissions and save costs with efficient route planning.

1. Reduced Fuel Consumption

It is simpler than you may think to plan efficient routes. Indeed, you do not even need to plan routes yourself when you use a route optimization app. For instance, with Circuit’s route planner, you can travel efficient routes, stop sitting in traffic, and find addresses quickly. In turn, you can reduce your fuel consumption. That will save you money and help to lower GHG emissions.

As you streamline your routes, you will minimize unnecessary travel and idle time, which leads to lower usage of fuel. Remember, every fuel burn contributes to the release of carbon dioxide, which is a leading greenhouse gas. Thus, less fuel use translates into fewer emissions.

2. Increased Vehicle Efficiency

Efficient route planning also encourages vehicle efficiency. With well-planned routes, your vehicles are likely to operate optimally, with no rapid accelerations or sudden brakes that increase wear and tear.

Lessened vehicle stress leads to improved engine performance and better fuel economy thereby emitting fewer harmful gasses and ensuring your vehicle remains in good condition.

3. Reduced Traffic Congestion

Another advantage of good route planning is its ability to influence traffic congestion positively — either by avoiding it altogether or navigating it more effectively.

Less traffic means cars are not idling as much on roads, emitting unnecessary pollutants into the atmosphere.

4. Lower Maintenance Requirements

Consistent maintenance is key to ensuring vehicles stay in their best running condition but with efficient route planning, maintenance costs can be significantly reduced as engines experience less strain and components last longer. That reduces both direct costs and indirect emissions associated with part production.

5. Enhanced Load Management and Fewer Trips

For delivery drivers, efficient route planning goes hand in hand with effective load management. By maximizing the capacity of every delivery, you need fewer trips to transport the same amount of goods. Fewer trips mean less fuel consumption and, therefore, reduced emissions.

6. Utilization of Alternative Routes

Well-planned routes may also harness roads less traveled. Less vehicle congestion on these roads allows for uninterrupted travel – effectively reducing your travel time and contributing to savings on fuel and other vehicle-related costs.

guide to carbon auditing

7. Improved Driver Behaviors

Lastly, efficient route planning can have a substantial impact on driver behaviors. With clear and well-thought-out routes, drivers are more likely to stick to speed limits and avoid risky driving – both of which can lead to considerable savings in fuel costs and subsequently lower emissions levels.

Matthew Stone, Renovare Fuels: Next Generation Renewables

Renewable fuels are playing an ever-increasing role in the UK transport industry. Driven by the UK Government’s efforts to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) stipulates that, from January 2021, fuel suppliers will be required to increase the proportion of renewables within their total sales.

Led by a management team of experienced professionals that includes Business Development Director Duncan Clark, Renovare Fuels could play a pivotal role in helping UK fuel companies meet the strict new criteria being imposed.


Biofuels are increasingly being used to power vehicles around the world

The UK transport industry generated 28% of total UK pollution in 2019, making it the country’s most polluting sector. The robust RTFO scheme was implemented to drive sustainability in the industry through the reduction of GHG emissions.

Under the scheme, transport fuel providers who provide more than 450,000 litres of petrol, gas oil or diesel must incorporate a prescribed amount of renewable fuels within their overall fuel sales, or forfeit a per-litre penalty.

Under the terms of the RTFO, the amount of renewables fuel suppliers must include in their products rises every year. The strategy forms an integral part of UK Government efforts to reduce the amount of carbon produced by the transport sector – a vital element of bringing total GHG emissions to net zero by 2050. Fuel suppliers will be required to increase development of renewable fuel components to at least 10.68% of their total supply levels in 2021.

Introduced in the 1980s, standard renewables like biodiesel and bioethanol produce similar levels of carbon dioxide emissions to fossil fuels when they are burned. However, rather than being produced from finite resources, they are derived from biomass feedstocks. These are typically grown specifically for the production of fuel or produced using waste products from other industries, such as agriculture and food. Although biomass produces CO2 when burned, this is offset by carbon dioxide absorbed by feedstock during the production process, effectively creating a closed loop process.


Lower GHG emissions and empowerment of rural economy are major benefits associated with bioethanol

In 2019, advanced development fuels were added to the terms of the RTFO, enabling fuel companies to integrate next generation biofuels into market supplies in addition to standard renewables.

With the exception of segregated fats and oils and renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs), development fuels are synthesised from residual feedstock or sustainable waste. To qualify under the scheme, a development fuel must have a GHG saving of at least 60% more than that offset by fossil fuels. Renewable diesel must be blendable at a rate of at least 25% with conventional diesel, while still meeting the EN590 fuel specification. Fuels which possess these superior carbon neutrality credentials are eligible for double the amount of Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates per kilo or litre compared with standard renewable fuels.

As Matthew Stone – Renovare Fuels’ Chairman – explains, development biofuels overcome many limitations associated with first-generation biofuels. From a physical and chemical perspective, Renovare Fuels’ next generation biofuels are closer to conventional fossil fuels, particularly in terms of performance and end product quality, while producing just three grams of CO2 per megajoule of biomass – which is just 3% of that generated by fossil fuels.

Standard biofuels have a limited impact in reducing GHG emissions, chiefly due to the type of feedstock used and low fuel quality. In contrast, development fuels are much more efficient, since they are specifically designed to eliminate emissions throughout the production process, as well as radically reducing those produced when used as an end fuel. As Matthew Stone points out, next generation development fuels show vast potential, supporting the UK Government’s GHG reduction goals.