Neste Corporation, News, May 11, 2022
In response to the recent article published by The Guardian on Neste’s collaboration with Coldplay and Neste’s renewable raw material sourcing, we would like to provide more specific information to correct and clarify the statements in the article.
Neste is the leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, focusing on waste and residue as feedstock when refining its renewable products. In recent years, several types of waste and residue oils and greases have accounted for more than 80% of our renewable raw material supply globally. In 2021, they represented 92%. Neste has developed a robust system to ensure that its renewable products and the raw materials it uses in its production always meet the legal sustainability requirements set by local authorities in our markets. This includes that we always only use renewable raw materials that are accepted by local legislation.
The article states that “Neste declined to say what percentage of the jet fuel blend is palm fatty acid distillates (PFADs).” The claim is false as we had specifically communicated to the reporter that Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is only produced from used cooking oil and waste animal fat.
Regarding the article’s claim that Neste’s palm oil suppliers were involved in significant deforestation between 2019 and 2020, we have responded to these demands in public already at their first presentation in 2020. We published a tracking statement after our investigations, we found no evidence to support the allegations of serious sustainability violations within Neste’s raw materials supply chain. Although our investigations into these allegations have all been completed, we continue to monitor the palm oil industry players mentioned in the allegations.
For our collaboration with Coldplay, conventional palm oil or other virgin vegetable oils were not used as raw materials for the renewable fuels supplied. As we communicate transparently on our website, we use sustainably produced vegetable oils, such as 100% certified and traceable palm oil, to produce renewable products for specific markets based on their preferences. The share of conventional vegetable oils, including conventional palm oil, of Neste’s renewable raw material inputs globally, however, has declined significantly over the past decade; they were around 8% in 2021. Neste plans to reduce the share of conventional palm oil to 0% of its global renewable raw material inputs by the end of 2023.
The article criticizes the use of used cooking oil and waste animal fats as feedstocks for renewable fuels, but we would like to point out that during the current climate crisis, the replacement of the use of fossil resources with sustainably sourced renewable and recycled raw materials is key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. The transition to renewable energy, including renewable fuels, is also helping to reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports. The efficient use of waste and residues is also one of the cornerstones of the circular economy. Making high-quality products from waste and residual raw materials is an example of efficient use of resources. It also provides one of the key ways to reduce the pressure to clear new areas of land for cultivation or the production of virgin raw materials for various uses.
Waste animal fat is, indeed, waste. It results from the processing of meat by the food industry and is a widely available raw material due to the abundance of meat production in the world. Animal fat waste is fatty waste recovered by rendering from meat processing waste that remains after removal of meat for food use.
Used cooking oil (UCO), on the other hand, consists of oils and fats that have been used by the food industry and restaurants to cook food for human consumption. UCOs are no longer fit for human consumption for food hygiene reasons; it is therefore collected to be recycled and reused, for example as a raw material for renewable fuels. Neste sources UCO from collectors and aggregators in many different countries around the world, and has invested in a major collector and recycler of UCO Mahoney Environmental in the United States, among others, to build a global platform of waste and residue raw materials capable of keeping pace with the growing global demand for renewable products. Selling something else like UCO, for example for the European biofuels industry – as the article seems to suggest – would be considered criminal activity, fraud, so such allegations are still subject to thorough investigation by the authorities.
If any such allegations of fraud or any other sustainability breaches or shortcomings relate to Neste’s raw material supply chains, we always take all allegations of suspected sustainability breaches and shortcomings seriously and investigate them. cases, even when they are not directly linked to our supply of raw materials but indirectly concern our suppliers, for example via their subsidiaries or their owners. If serious credible allegations against our suppliers are investigated, we suspend all further purchases from these suppliers. We transparently publish information about complaint cases (see our website: https://www.neste.com/sustainability/sustainable-supply-chain/renewable-raw-material-grievances) and our actions as soon as we have received sufficient information from the actors in our supply chain. We also actively monitor events outside of our own supply chain and work to support corrective action.
In the event that we learn of deficiencies in our renewable raw material supply chains, engagement and cooperation with the supplier is our primary course of action: we believe they provide the most effective way to resolve any issues. . If investigations reveal that the sustainability criteria and requirements included in our contracts with our suppliers have been verifiably violated and the nature of these is considered serious and progress to resolve these issues is not made in a reasonable time, we may terminate our contract with the supplier in question – which we have done in the past. You can find more details about how we aim to ensure sustainability on our website: https://www.neste.com/sustainability/sustainable-supply-chain
Ensuring sustainability is at the heart of Neste. Like Coldplay, we recognize that sustainability is a journey of staying committed to continuous improvement. Neste’s efforts to continuously improve have been recognized with Neste’s inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for 15 consecutive years, while in the Corporate Knights 100 Most Sustainable Companies for 16 consecutive years, in which we are ranked as the most sustainable company in our industry. Neste also disclosed its climate change prevention measures over the past 15 years in CDP; in 2021, Neste achieved a Leadership Level in the CDP Climate Change Rating, and we have achieved a Leadership Level (A or A-) for five consecutive years since the introduction of the current rating system in 2016 .
We had very in-depth conversations with the Coldplay team on many aspects of sustainability before signing the partnership. We remain humbled and grateful for Coldplay’s trust in Neste as a partner in making their world tour more sustainable. We remain committed to ensuring that our sustainability operations and performance continue to be trusted by all of our customers and stakeholders. We remain very focused on our sustainability journey, always aiming to improve our performance, while helping our customers and partners do the same.
Nest in a nutshell
Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates solutions to fight climate change and accelerate the transition to a circular economy. We refine waste, residues and innovative feedstocks into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstocks for plastics and other materials. We are the world’s leading producer of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel and are developing chemical recycling to tackle the challenge of plastic waste. Our goal is to help our customers reduce their greenhouse gas emissions with our renewable and circular solutions by at least 20 million tons per year by 2030. Our ambition is to make the oil refinery of Porvoo in Finland the most sustainable refinery in Europe by 2030. We introduce renewable and recycled raw materials such as liquefied plastic waste as refinery raw materials. We are committed to achieving carbon neutral production by 2035 and will reduce the carbon intensity of products sold by 50% by 2040. We have also set high standards for biodiversity, human rights people and supply chain. We have consistently been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies. In 2021, Neste’s turnover amounted to 15.1 billion euros. Read more: neste.com