Resource wisdom & circular economy

Resource efficiency and circular economy – more from less!

The world currently consumes more natural resources than the Earth can produce. Therefore, it is our responsibility to make more from less.

We are continuously seeking ways to increase the material efficiency of our operations. Our refineries operate efficiently and only a very small fraction of their raw materials end up as waste.

Someone's waste, our raw material
– renewable diesel from waste

We do not utilize energy from waste through incineration, for example, but produce a completely new type of product from it; premium-quality Neste Renewable Diesel™. Its use can replace fossil diesel and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2019, waste and residues accounted for approximately 80% of our use of renewable raw materials. Waste and residues that we can use as raw material for our Neste Renewable Diesel™ include low-quality animal and fish fats not suitable for human consumption, as well as waste and residue streams of vegetable oil-using industries, among others.

Over the past 10 years, we have increased the share of waste and residues of the total consumption of renewable raw materials. We have also already achieved the capability to use only waste and residues in our renewable diesel production. We are also investigating opportunities to utilize even lower quality waste and residue raw materials in our production of renewable diesel.

Conventional oil refining is in a class of its own in terms of material efficiency

Oil refining is highly efficient in terms of material usage, as a very high share of the raw materials used can reclaimed. Crude oil can be utilized in a variety of ways, and only a small fraction ends up as waste. The final product that does not meet the quality requirements can be returned to the refining process.

We are aiming to become a leader in low-carbon refining. We are exploring ways to utilize liquefied plastic waste to replace crude oil in the production of fuels, chemicals, and new plastics.

Circulation of materials in industrial symbioses does good for the environment

We aim to save materials and protect the environment in everything we do.

All of our refineries are located in industrial areas, which offers opportunities for leveraging synergies with neighboring plants. For example, sulfur is recovered from raw material for oil refining at our Porvoo refinery and processed into elemental sulfur, which is used as a product in its own right. In addition, the Porvoo refinery annually generates around 10,000 tons of used wash lye, which is used as an input by pulp industry. 

The Singapore and Rotterdam refineries are able to make use of sidestreams and process waste from nearby companies in their own production processes.

CO2 recovery plant 

The CO2 recovery plant built at Neste's renewable product refinery in Singapore was started up in March 2016. CO2 recovery increases the resource efficiency of the refinery, and reduces the carbon footprint of renewable products over their life cycle.

The refining process of crude oil based products at our Porvoo refinery also generates CO2, some of which is recovered and sold to the local gas company.