Can I get a slice of pizza with a side of fighting climate change?
Statistically speaking, pizza is America’s favorite and most instagrammed food. It beats out the competition - like tacos, hamburgers, and steak - by a wide margin.
Good news for pizza lovers (and taco, and steak, and hamburger lovers): Snapping a pic of and then chowing down on your fave food could also help fight climate change.
How? The comfort food you love to consume contributes to a circular economy, where America’s waste helps fuel America’s transport system.
It starts with Mahoney Environmental, a company that provides essential back-of-house services to thousands of kitchens in restaurants, stadiums, hotels and airports across the country. One of those services is collecting and recycling used cooking oil.
Then Neste comes in, a company that’s in the business of fighting climate change. Using cutting-edge technology, Neste upcycles the leftover carbon molecules found in used cooking oil, grease and other wastes into low-carbon, 100% renewable fuels.
Completing the circle are the many forward-thinking businesses and cities who have already decided to kick the petroleum habit and run their fleets on advanced biofuels made from leftover wastes like used cooking oil.
“This isn’t science fiction,” Says Jeremy Baines, President of Neste US. “Last year, our renewable products prevented more than 9.6 million tons of CO2 equivalent from entering the atmosphere.”
Each year, Neste produces more than 900 million gallons of advanced biofuels--renewable diesel for the road, sustainable aviation fuel for the sky, and renewable polymers for plastic manufacturing.
About one-third of that volume comes into North America, all made from waste and residue materials like used cooking oil.
Neste’s advanced biofuels are used by businesses and cities that are looking for an immediate way to reduce carbon emissions and pollution. They can replace fossil fuels today while potential zero-emission solutions continue to be researched.
Jeremy sees it as a simple choice: “We can act now to create a circular economy, where we recycle already-existing carbon molecules over and over again. Or, we can keep releasing new carbon into the atmosphere by burning diesel and jet fuel made from crude oil.”
Demand for low carbon, renewable liquid fuels is on the rise. Driving this is the simple reality that some vehicles - like big trucks, planes, tractors, and construction equipment - will continue to rely on internal combustion engines and energy-dense liquid fuels.
Making the renewable fuels to power these vehicles is Neste’s area of expertise. By acquiring Mahoney, Neste will get access to a company with substantial access to used cooking oil, that knows how to safely collect and pre-treat it, and has room to grow. That growth opportunity is significant.
Restaurants, hotels, stadiums and other venues across the United States generate about 3 billion gallons of used cooking oil per year - enough to fill more than 4,500 full-size olympic swimming pools. Currently, a lot of America’s used cooking oil and grease goes to waste or, even worse, is dumped down the drain.
Together, Mahoney and Neste can offer a better alternative.
As Mahoney Environmental frontline supervisor Mike Perry puts it: “Mahoney is joining a larger company that’s focused on creating a positive environmental impact. There is a really exciting opportunity here for us to find more ways to help the economy and environment by turning more used cooking oil into sustainable fuels.”
The main opportunity is for Neste and Mahoney to grow faster, bolder and together across North America. As Mahoney expands, so will its supply of used cooking oil. Neste can then purchase and turn this used cooking oil into advanced biofuels.
It's a virtuous cycle that supports green jobs, puts money back into the pockets of American businesses, and helps keep the country’s economy running with a smaller carbon footprint.
For 11 years, Mary Taylor has worked for Mahoney Environmental.
She is a national account manager, responsible for bringing in new business and managing key accounts. As she tells her friends and loved ones, this just makes sense.
For starters, Mahoney is already a closed-loop recycling company that has helped kick-start America's growing biofuels industry.
“Mahoney has always been supportive of the biofuels industry. As we join the Neste family, I am excited to see how we can work together to make even more biofuels available here in the USA and further reduce our impact on the climate,” she says.
Beyond low-carbon fuels, Mary sees a deeper, foundational similarity between Neste and Mahony.
“We are two companies that both share the same goal of creating a healthier planet for our children.”