Road freight transportation is a critical part of the global economy but also comes with a high environmental cost. If we reduce our carbon footprint, we must find ways to make freight trucking more sustainable.

After all, reducing our carbon footprint saves energy and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Trucking does account for significant greenhouse gas emissions.

Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce these emissions in trucking and practices to make trucking more sustainable. Here are eleven tips to get us started.

1. Understand the Types of Emissions Trucks Produce

The first step in reducing truck emissions is understanding what kinds of emissions they produce. The road transport sector, which encompasses trucks, cars, buses, and motorbikes, is responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Emissions from road transport contribute to climate change, acid rain, and smog.

Climate change-related Sustainable Development Goals include reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, ensuring affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all, and ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns throughout society.

The goals related to air pollution include ensuring access to clean air; promoting sustainable management of forests and other ecosystems; combating desertification and the degradation of drylands, and reducing food waste along the food chain.

Road transportation is a major emitter of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM)10, and PM2.5, as well as other greenhouse gases and air pollutants.

Under the Road to Zero Strategy, the government will support the transition to zero-emission road transport and reduce emissions from conventional vehicles. A major focus of the strategy is the reduction of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions generated by using road vehicles.

  • Air Pollutants: Reduction of air pollutants such as carbon dioxide contributes to improving air quality and reducing smog in cities across the UK and around the world.
  • Buses and Coaches: Buses are an important mode of public transport in urban areas; they help reduce road congestion and are a cost-effective alternative to private car travel.
  • Cars and Vans: Cars are a popular mode of transportation in many cities and rural areas worldwide; they improve mobility and give citizens the independence and flexibility to travel when and where they want.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Reducing carbon dioxide emissions reduces climate change and reduces acidification of the oceans.
  • Heavy Goods Vehicles and Trucks: Commercial trucks and vans are responsible for approximately one-fifth of UK carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Motorcycles: Motorcycles are very popular in some parts of the world and are an important means of transport in rural areas where other forms of public transport are not available or affordable.

2. Educate Yourself on the Latest Technologies That Help Reduce Emissions

Technological advancements in truck technology have helped reduce emissions, including diesel particulate filters, engine modifications, and alternative fuel systems.

Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in emission-reducing truck technology to be part of the solution. Use this information to help inform others about vehicle technologies available to reduce emissions from on-road vehicles, such as hybrid vehicles, electric vehicle charging stations, and low-emission zones.

3. Advocate for Cleaner Trucking Practices With Your Local Council and Government Officials

We must advocate for cleaner trucking practices in our city and have local leaders take action to reduce truck emissions. For example, some cities have introduced low-emission zones (LEZs) and electric car charging stations to promote greener transportation. Other cities have reduced emissions from trucks and buses by using low-noise vehicles or stopping engines in traffic areas.

We must also push for better truck maintenance practices. For example, some trucks need to be refuelled before they reach their destination instead of waiting in a queue at a fuelling point. Otherwise, they must stop and let their engine cool down before filling up. This wastes a lot of fuel and creates a lot of emissions.

In addition, keeping vehicles in good condition reduces emissions and makes drivers’ jobs safer.

4. Support Businesses That Are Committed to Reducing Their Carbon Footprint

When looking for products or services, seek companies committed to reducing their carbon footprint, including road freight emissions. These businesses are often willing to go the extra mile to ship their products sustainably, whether by using alternative fuel trucks or investing in energy-efficient shipping practices.

You can also encourage other businesses to start going green. This can be as simple as respecting the bus lanes in your city and finding creative ways to reuse products and packaging materials.

5. Reduce Your Reliance on Goods That Must Be Shipped Long Distances

One way to help reduce road freight emissions is by reducing your dependence on goods that need to be shipped long distances.

When possible, buy locally sourced products or goods shipped via air or sea instead of road freight. This will reduce the number of trucks on the road and help reduce emissions overall. Choose products that travel by air or sea instead of road freight. This is also an effective method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from shipping.

6. Switch to Electric Vehicles

There is no doubt that electric vehicles are becoming more popular, and for a good reason. They emit far less pollution than conventional petrol or diesel vehicles and are also cheaper to operate.

Consider switching to electric vehicles if your business relies heavily on road freight. You will be doing your part to reduce emissions and fuel costs. Plus, you will be promoting a cleaner environment for all!

7. Combine Shipments to Reduce the Number of Trucks on the Road

If road freight is involved in your business, one way to reduce your emissions is to consolidate the shipments when possible.

For example, if you’re sending products to multiple customers in the same city, try consolidating those shipments into one delivery instead of making numerous trips. This will reduce road freight emissions and make your business more sustainable.

8. Use Sustainable Shipping Materials Like Paper or Cardboard Instead of Plastic

The use of plastic is one of the most harmful materials to the environment, so it’s important to avoid it whenever possible.

If you are shipping products that require packaging, choose sustainable materials such as paper or cardboard rather than plastic. There are even biodegradable packing peanuts available instead of traditional styrofoam ones.

Every little bit counts when it comes to reducing emissions from road freight.

9. Educate Your Customers About the Benefits of Reducing Freight Emissions

As a business owner, you have a unique opportunity to educate your customers about the benefits of reducing freight emissions. Inform your customers about the steps they can take to reduce their environmental impact and encourage them to follow suit.

For orders that ship sustainably, you could offer discounts or free shipping. Customers are more likely to make sustainable choices if they are convenient and affordable, so it makes sense to offer incentives in this regard.

10. Talk to Your Local Representatives

You have local representatives representing your interests, so do not hesitate to contact them and tell them what is important to you. Let your local representatives know you are passionate about reducing emissions from road freight.

11. Get Involved With Organisations That Are Fighting for Change

Many organisations are fighting to reduce emissions from road freight, so get on board with them! Talk to your colleagues, friends, and family about our planet’s issues.

You will promote sustainable living, which everyone can do. Many organisations are fighting sustainability in the freight industry. Join a group that aligns with your values. The more people are fighting for change, the better their chances.


Road freight transportation is a necessary part of the global economy, but it costs the environment. To reduce the carbon footprint of trucking, we need to find ways to make it more sustainable.

By educating ourselves on the latest emission-reducing technologies and advocating for cleaner trucking practices, we can all do our part to reduce road freight emissions. If you require assistance or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.