Questions and answers on Neste’s collaboration with Coldplay
Neste’s renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel are helping Coldplay to cut CO2 emissions from their Music Of The Spheres World Tour by 50% compared to their previous world tour. Neste’s renewable fuels are low-emission alternatives to fossil fuels for use in transport and energy generation.
1. What are renewable fuels?
Renewable fuels, or biofuels as they are often called, are sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels that are commonly used in the road transport, aviation and other sectors. Neste-produced renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel are high-performing fuels that are produced entirely from renewable raw materials, such as waste and residue oils and fats. They are known as “drop-in” fuels as they are suitable for existing diesel vehicles and aircraft.
2. Why renewable fuels?
Replacing fossil fuels with renewable fuels helps combat the climate crisis by significantly reducing the greenhouse gas emissions released to the atmosphere. In addition to sustainably-produced renewable fuels, dependency on fossil fuels can also be reduced by switching to electric vehicles and, by developing emerging technologies such as Power-to-X to produce clean hydrogen for future uses.
3. Are the Neste-produced renewable fuels sustainable?
Neste’s renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel are produced from 100% renewable raw materials. Thanks to their renewable origin, they help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as 75% to 95%* over their life cycle, when compared to fossil fuels they replace.
Neste only sources renewable raw materials that are traceable. This enables Neste and its partners to monitor the entire supply chain and ensure suppliers’ absolute commitment to strict sustainability criteria. Neste sources renewable raw materials only from suppliers that are committed to combating deforestation, protecting biodiversity and respecting human rights as defined in Neste’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
The renewable fuels that Neste supplies to Coldplay are either ISCC EU certified to verify compliance to the strict sustainability criteria included in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED II), or satisfy the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resource Board (CARB) in the US.
4. What raw materials were used for Coldplay’s renewable fuels?
Neste produces renewable products from a wide variety of sustainably-sourced renewable raw materials. For Coldplay’s use, Neste allocated fuels made from used cooking oil and animal fat waste – i.e. wastes from restaurants and food industry processes.
5. Is there palm oil in the fuels that Coldplay uses?
Conventional palm oil or other virgin vegetable oils were not among the raw materials allocated for Coldplay’s renewable fuels.
6. Why did Neste not respond to The Guardian’s question of what percentage of the jet fuel mix is made up by palm fatty acid distillates, as Guardian states in the article?
The claim that Neste did not disclose the requested information in the article is not true. Neste responded to the questions from The Guardian, but the response was not included in the article. We specifically communicated to the journalist that only used cooking oil and animal fat waste were allocated for Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel for Coldplay.
7. Why are waste and residues used as raw materials?
Production of high-quality products from waste and residue raw materials that are widely available via multiple sources around the world promotes efficient use of resources, and prevents competition with food. The use of waste and residues also helps reduce the pressure to convert new areas of land for the cultivation or production of raw materials. The conversion of waste and residue materials into biofuels for the transport and aviation sectors is an important solution in the fight against climate change.
8. Neste and Coldplay have been accused of greenwashing, what is the truth?
By replacing fossil fuels with Neste-produced renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel during the North American and European legs of their tour, Coldplay will achieve around 50% reduction in their transport-related carbon footprint. These emission reductions are measurable and verifiable. We hope that the greenwashing accusations do not discourage others from pursuing similar efforts to address the climate crisis.
9. The greenwashing claims were partly based on claims that Neste has sourced palm oil from suppliers that are linked to deforestation. What is the truth?
Neste has a clear position against any actions that would cause deforestation. Neste sources only certified and traceable palm oil for its renewable fuels, and this certified palm oil makes up only 7% of the company’s total renewable raw material inputs globally. Neste has stated publicly that it aims to stop using virgin palm oil as a renewable raw material entirely by the end of 2023.
Neste takes all allegations of suspected sustainability violations and shortcomings seriously. The claims by Friends of the Earth in 2020, recently repeated by the media, on Neste's palm oil suppliers’ involvement in significant deforestation between 2019 and 2020, led to comprehensive investigations involving also satellite imaging and third party experts. The investigations did not find evidence to support allegations of serious sustainability violations within Neste's raw material supply chain.
10. Are Neste’s operations causing deforestation with its operations?
Neste is committed to preventing deforestation in its own operations, supply chains, and requires the same from all its raw material suppliers. Neste’s focus on waste and residue raw materials in its renewables production minimizes deforestation risk.
Neste organizes regular workshops to educate its suppliers of sustainable practices and Neste’s expectations and criteria as well as legal criteria on sustainability. The company is also engaged in regional collaborative projects across industries to mitigate the risk of deforestation and biodiversity loss.
Neste takes all allegations on suspected sustainability violations and shortcomings seriously and investigates the cases, even when they are not directly related to its sourcing of raw materials. The company transparently communicates about the progress and outcomes of these types of investigations on its website. Neste encourages all stakeholders to report their concerns on suspected sustainability violations related to Neste or its supply chains via Ethics Online.
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*) Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions refer to CO2 emissions, methane and other emissions accelerating climate change. The GHG emission calculations cover the entire life cycle of the fuel from raw materials to fuel use and are based on legally approved methods, such as CORSIA methodology for SAF, as well as EU RED II 2018/2001/EU and US California LCFS for renewable diesel. The emission reduction percentage varies depending on the product and region-specific legislation that provides the methodology for the calculations.