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road transport impact on environment


Gearing up for a greener future

Commercial road transport services are at the heart of mobility, delivering economic and social prosperity around the world. It is fundamental that this essential industry has a sustainable outlook when it comes to economic viability, social responsibility but also to decarbonisation. 

Decarbonisation is in road transport operators' interest - fuel makes up to 30% of operational costs so measures to reduce fuel consumption are a plus.

We believe in an integrated approach to reducing emissions, encompassing vehicles, technologies, operations, infrastructure and traffic management.

IRU and its member associations are committed to a cleaner future for road transport and we work on many related topics to achieve this goal. They have published the IRU vision for decarbonising commercial road transport leading up to 2050. 

IRU’s projects and advocacy work in this area cover a wide range of topics, from alternative fuels, decarbonisation, business incentives, toxic emissions and noise pollution, through to technical standards, compliance and monitoring, training, and awareness. 

With a particular focus on the EU, as well as other regional bodies, plus the UN and international organisations at a global level, our advocacy work involves IRU members, governments and other stakeholders including industry suppliers and manufacturers, as well as other trade associations, NGOs and academia. 

Stepping up to decarbonisation

Our industry has reduced pollutant emissions by up to 98% in the last 20 years

IRU's policies

Some of our most recent policies can be found here:

IRU's trainings

Increasingly, many companies are keen to develop a fully sustainable supply chain, and this means they are now requesting data on their CO2emissions. The road transport industry needs to deliver on this data, otherwise it risks losing business because its green credentials are not up to scratch. In addition, with rising fuel prices around the world, transport operators face substantial fuel bills: eco-driving helps reduce these by up to 15%. Find out about our Eco-Driving courses for drivers and transport operators, held via the IRU Academy.

IRU's facts and resources:

  • IRU 30 by 30 Resolution  - a pledge from the entire road transport industry to cut its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030. Read
  • Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of commercial vehicles has dropped 36% since 1970.  Read.
  • Eco-driving training helps to further reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10%. Read
  • The right priority! Reducing toxic emissions (NOx) before non-toxic emissions (CO2). Read.
  • Real business incentives for reducing CO2 emissions! Read.
  • CO2 emission taxation: How can it be made effective?  Read.
  • Lower CO2 emissions by rail – ONLY with nuclear energy!  Read.
  • Buses and coaches replace up to 80 cars thus reducing fuel consumption, congestion and CO2 emissions! Read.  
  • Congestion is responsible for 100 billion litres of wasted fuel, or 250 billion tonnes of CO2 in the United States alone! Read.
  • Traffic congestion increases CO2 emissions by 300%! Read.
  • Road transport taxes should be invested in roads to reduce CO2 emissions! Read.