Eco-driving to Reduce Freight GHG Emissions in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Truck drivers from over 100 freight companies in Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam have undergone eco-driving training as the Green Freight Initiative tests ways to lessen the environmental impacts of freight transport in the GMS.

An eco-driver curriculum was tailored for each of the three countries in late 2015 and rolled out this year to 300 drivers through a series of theoretical and practical trainings during May to July. The drivers learned eco-driving techniques such as accelerating slowly, cruising at more moderate speeds, idling less, and avoiding sudden breaking. Good practice before journeys was also emphasized such as choosing appropriate routes and conducting vehicle checks; especially tire pressure, cargo, and aerodynamics.

Eco-driver training has been increasingly applied globally in recent years as countries look to reduce high GHG emissions from transport. Eco-driving can also decrease local pollution, lessen fuel and maintenance costs, and lower accident rates.

The Green Freight Initiative’s aim was to test fuel efficiency gains when eco-driver training is applied to small-medium road freight companies. Such companies dominate road transport in the GMS, carrying around 80% of freighted goods.

Initial results from Lao PDR and Viet Nam showed that immediately after the training, the drivers averaged fuel savings of 7-8% compared to before. If maintained, this would equate to 3-4 tonnes less of carbon dioxide emitted per annum per truck in the two countries and would create a positive cost-benefit ratio. However, analysis indicated that fuel savings would likely reduce over time unless further training and incentives were provided as well as ongoing monitoring. Both countries have indicated they will integrate eco-driver elements into their standard driving curricula. Results from Thailand are still being compiled.

The training program for Lao PDR and Viet Nam was developed and delivered by Grutter Consulting, while in Thailand the Federation of Thai Industries was the implementing partner.

The Green Freight Initiative is also piloting other fuel efficiency initiatives in the three countries, including testing aerodynamic technologies and financial mechanisms to access these, as well as improving logistics management.

Find out more via the links below.

Publish Date: 14th August 2016

Last Updated: 2nd September 2016

See also

Consultation Workshop on GMS Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Program (SAFSP)

3 to 4 April 2019

GMS Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Program (SAFSP): The proposed TA will build on accomplishments of the two phases of the Core Agriculture Support Program and support the implementation of Strategy for Promoting Safe and Environment-Friendly Agro-Based Value Chains in the GMS and Siem Reap Action Plan, which was endorsed by the GMS Agriculture Ministers in late 2017. The SAFSP interventions will focus on areas such as (i) climate-smart and gender-conscious agricultural value chains, (ii) food safety and quality, and (iii) water-food-energy nexus in a warming world (through the adoption of climate-friendly agricultural adaptation practices and technologies).


SAFSP will focus on ADB’s value addition in advancing the use of advanced digital technologies, leveraging investments and applying integrated solutions on the safe, environment and climate-friendly agro-based value chains in the GMS. The TA will assist GMS towards becoming a more integrated, prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable subregion, by focusing on principles such as “food safety for all, climate-friendly agriculture, inclusiveness of small farmers, gender empowerment, corporate social responsibility, good governance, benefits for all GMS countries, and integration with ASEAN”.


The SAFSP will have the following themes to be implemented over 5 years:


      1.          Greening of agribusiness supply chains

      2.          Inclusive and gender-conscious food value chains

      3.          Financing climate-friendly agribusinesses

      4.          Food safety and quality standards, certification and traceability

      5.          Cross-border animal health and value chain development

      6.          Water for food security in a changing climate

      7.          Agricultural adaptation in the context of water-food-energy nexus


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized a workshop on the GMS SAFSP on 3-4 April 2019in Kunming, People’s Republic of China. The workshop was divided into six sessions, where each session discussed (i) key challenges for each seven themes, (ii)  current status (e.g. policies, building capacities and mobilizing investment for infrastructure), and best practices that could be replicated, (iii)  key priorities for action, and (iv) advantages or disadvantages in adopting a regional approach.

More than 80 participants attended. Delegates included senior government officials from 6ADB developing member countries, senior staff from international and regional development organizations, including ADB, non-government organizations, academia, and the private sector.

The agenda and presentation materials can be downloaded below.


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Lao PDR: Improving Lives and Saving Forests

10th December 2018

In the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, a community is creating products without damaging the environment, and empowering women in the process.

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