Neste Explains How Advanced Biofuels Can Help Us Build Back Better

Neste Advanced Biofuels

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In April, the typically smog-filled skies of Los Angeles were remarkably clear, a stark contrast to their usual state. Similarly, satellite images revealed a significant reduction in nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other pollutants over Houston, Texas. While such improvements in air quality would typically be a cause for celebration, this year, the cleaner air was an unintended consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, as the United States gradually reopens for business, pollution levels are already on the rise.

The Temporary Decline in Pollution

The reduction in air pollution during the pandemic demonstrated that cleaner air is achievable. This period offered a glimpse of what could be possible with sustained efforts to combat air pollution and climate change. Jeremy Baines, President of Neste US, emphasized this potential during two major virtual conferences focused on sustainable and equitable transportation and energy systems.

Neste’s Collaboration with Oakland: A Model for Circular Economy

At the Nordic Innovation Summit 2020 (NIS), which brought together leaders and innovators from the Nordic countries and the Pacific Northwest, Jeremy Baines highlighted Neste’s collaboration with the City of Oakland as a successful example of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

“Last year, we partnered with the City of Oakland to create a circular economy where their municipal vehicles are running on their fries,” he explained. In 2019, Neste and its partners started collecting used cooking oil from local businesses in Oakland. Neste converts this used cooking oil into renewable diesel, which powers the city’s municipal fleets. Renewable diesel is an advanced biofuel that works with existing fueling infrastructure and engines, emitting up to 80% less greenhouse gas emissions and less pollution compared to fossil diesel.

Advancing Sustainable Policies in the Oil and Gas Sector

During the Ceres 2020 conference, which addresses sustainability challenges and opportunities for investors, companies, and policymakers, Jeremy Baines discussed the importance of decarbonizing the oil and gas sector. He challenged the traditional oil versus climate debate by highlighting the benefits that oil and gas companies can gain from transitioning to renewable energy.

“Neste is a green swan,” he stated. We transitioned from fossil fuels to renewable products and proved that it is possible to create a sustainable, profitable business model grounded in renewables.” Jeremy stressed that successful policy solutions and available low-carbon products, like advanced biofuels, must play a larger role in climate change discussions and action plans.

Building a Sustainable Future Post-Pandemic

As society recovers from the pandemic, there is a critical opportunity to rethink and rebuild a more sustainable economy. Jeremy Baines pointed out the choice facing us: continue business as usual or seize the chance to create a sustainable economy and environment.

“We have a choice on how we restart the economy,” he said. “We can continue business as usual or we can create a sustainable economy and environment.” Businesses and government officials can lead the charge toward a more sustainable future by adopting innovative solutions and sustainable practices.

A Call to Action

The temporary improvements in air quality during the pandemic highlight the potential for lasting change. Neste’s pioneering work with the City of Oakland and its broader efforts in promoting renewable energy offers a blueprint for a more sustainable future. As we move forward, businesses and policymakers must embrace these solutions and prioritize sustainability in their plans for economic recovery. Only through collective effort can we ensure a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations.

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