Used cooking oil

Case story

4 minute read

More sustainable fuels powering a more sustainable business: Neste’s collaboration with Cleanaway Waste Management

When it comes to waste, what if instead of asking “Where does it go,” we asked, “What can it be next?” This is the approach taken by Cleanaway Waste Management Limited, Australia’s leading total waste management solutions provider. Neste, meanwhile, is a pioneer in renewable and circular solutions, using its state-of-the-art technology to convert a wide variety of waste and residues into renewable fuels, such as renewable diesel, also known as “hydrotreated vegetable oils” or “HVO100”, as well as feedstocks for the chemical and polymers sector. What happens when these two companies meet is an important landmark for renewable fuel use in Australia and beyond.

Cleanaway Waste Management trucks

From kitchens to engines

Cleanaway continuously looks for opportunities to contribute to its environmental and responsible business goals, including ways to increase sustainability in its own operations and to offer customers more sustainable solutions. This ambition leads to partnerships with leaders in different industries to embrace and promote circularity.

Cleanaway has recently undertaken such a collaboration with Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. The program entails Cleanaway trucks collecting used cooking oil from commercial kitchens, restaurants, and shopping centers in Melbourne. The used cooking oil is then mixed with other renewable raw materials and refined by Neste into a variety of high-quality renewable products, such as Neste MY Renewable Diesel™ which Cleanaway uses to power part of its fleet.

The resulting reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for vehicles switching from fossil diesel to Neste MY Renewable Diesel is up to 90%* over the life cycle of the fuel, representing an immediate and scalable decarbonization solution.

Jeroen Wassenaar, Head of Innovation at Cleanaway, emphasizes the benefits of Neste MY Renewable Diesel.

“Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a drop-in replacement for fossil fuel and requires minimal capital investment. So far, our demonstration has shown that there are no changes to efficiency or performance in the vehicles. Altogether, making the switch supports both our sustainability goals and our service commitments to our customers.”

The drop-in benefit of renewable diesel allows fleet operators across many industries to take immediate action for the betterment of communities and the planet within the life of existing fleet and infrastructure. There has never been a more important time for such action, with transportation as a whole contributing up to 25% of all energy-related GHG emissions worldwide.

Why renewable diesel?

Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a low-emission fuel made from 100% renewable raw materials. It is chemically very similar to fossil diesel and can be used neat, unblended, without the need for modification of engines or infrastructure.

Unlike conventional biodiesels, Neste MY Renewable Diesel is reliable even in very cold temperatures and free of sulfur, oxygen and certain aromatic compounds. And, in addition to creating measurable GHG emissions reductions when replacing fossil diesel, powering engines with renewable diesel may lead to fewer particulate matter (PM) emissions, particularly in older vehicles with less developed engine technologies.

Waste management is just one industry where renewable diesel is being embraced as an immediate and effective option for decarbonization. Others include construction, mining, railways, forestry, public transportation and logistics to name a few. Neste’s presence in partnerships across these and other industries represents its commitment to lowering customers’ GHG emissions by at least 20 Mt annually by 2030.

Beyond the Perry Road depot demonstration

The collaboration between Neste and Cleanaway can be seen working in real-time at Cleanaway’s Perry Road depot, in Melbourne, where two vehicles in Cleanaway’s fleet are fueling up on Neste-produced renewable diesel before continuing their journeys in and around Melbourne, Victoria. Cleanaway, which operates around 5,000 vehicles across Australia, looks forward to what the future holds in terms of further decarbonization.

“The current demonstration using HVO100 will continue until August 2024,” Wassenaar says. “Over that period, we continue to work with stakeholders, including the Australian government, to understand how we can increase the role of HVO100 in heavy vehicle usage. The collection of used cooking oil for beneficial reuse, meanwhile, remains an important service aligned with our Blueprint 2030 strategy to offer high circularity and low-carbon solutions to our customers.”

Carrie Song, Global Senior Vice President, Renewable Products at Neste, points out that the company already has over 15 years of experience providing renewable solutions in the European markets and over 10 years in the American markets.

“We look forward to expanding our role in other markets, including Australia,” says Song. “Through projects like the one with Cleanaway Waste Management, Neste aims to add to its legacy of innovative and impactful collaboration, on the way to fulfilling its purpose: to create a healthier planet for our children.”