The Greenpeace environmental organization has attacked Neste Oil’s use of palm oil very prominently over recent days. This confrontational approach has done little to promote sustainable development or work aimed at addressing the energy challenge, Neste Oil believes.
Governments, consumers, and the business world are faced with a massive energy challenge. How to meet the growing energy needs of traffic and transport and at the same time mitigate climate change? People and products need to move and be moved, and those living in developing countries are also entitled to mobility. Greenpeace criticizes others, but does not present any solutions.
Neste Oil believes that cooperation between governments, companies, and organizations is the best way forward to solve the energy challenge we all face, aimed at promoting technological development and creating clear ground rules for everyone.
As the limits to crude oil production become clearer, we need to find cleaner, bio-based liquid fuels and be able to produce them in large quantities. Quality biofuel is one of the most realistic ways of reducing the environmental impact associated with traffic and transport. Neste Oil has taken up this challenge in its own area of expertise. Without development work, nothing new can be created. The EU’s fuel directive, for its part, also requires that biofuels should account for 5.75% of traffic fuels in the Community by 2010, and Finland, together with the other member states of the EU, must meet this requirement.
Neste Oil’s NExBTL Renewable Diesel is the lowest-emission biofuel currently available. It is capable of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40-60% compared to fossil diesel fuel, and also helps improve air quality significantly by reducing a range of tailpipe emissions. NExBTL can be used in all of today’s diesel engines without any modifications or other changes.
Over the short term, Neste Oil has chosen palm oil as the main raw material for producing NExBTL. Although the NExBTL production process can also use other vegetable oil or animal fat, palm oil is the most competitive input at the moment, because of its availability, price, and, in particular, because of its greenhouse gas balance. Neste Oil is continuing to work on technology that will enable new types of non-food raw materials to be used as feedstocks in the future.
Neste Oil finds it regrettable that Greenpeace, through its actions, appears to be trying to deny the benefits of the work that has been done to develop sustainable palm oil production and certification. We believe that the only sustainable way forward is to create a comprehensive and reliable certification system. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) convened last week and approved a set of auditing and certification guidelines for palm oil, together with a complete certification program. The RSPO estimates that certified palm oil will start to become available in the first quarter of 2008. Neste Oil has committed itself to observing the RSPO’s certification criteria, and welcomes all legislative measures designed to prevent irresponsible palm oil production.
Neste Oil Corporation
Senior Vice President, Communications