Stakeholders rely on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives to decarbonize the biofuels industry supply chain. The global drive to replace fossil fuels with biofuels has spurred innovation and prompted industry players to invest in renewable feedstocks.
According to an IEA report, in the carbon neutrality scenario, biofuels produced from residues, waste and dedicated crops that do not compete with food crops will account for 50% of biofuels consumed in 2030. In addition, biofuels can avoid 4.4% of the world’s oil consumption in road transport.
However, not everything that glitters is gold. Environmental activists say biofuels could disrupt land use, which could lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, and pressure on water resources, raising food prices. According to Transport & Environment, palm biodiesel is three times more harmful to the climate than fossil fuels. In addition, the watchdog says that every day about 19 million bottles of rapeseed and sunflower oil and 14 million bottles of soybean and palm oil are burned in Europe.
Valero Energy focuses on reducing emissions
Despite criticism from regulators, forward-looking companies and innovators should strengthen their ESG profile to enhance their brand. Valero Energy focuses on reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Sustainable fuels have become essential to contribute to the energy transition and a decarbonized economy. Forward-thinking companies, such as Valero, have strengthened their emissions targets and are preparing to support a low-carbon economy. The company has invested more than $4.65 billion in the low-carbon fuel sector.
By 2021, it has allocated over 70% of growth capital to low-carbon projects. In addition, the U.S.-based company is on track to minimize and replace 100% of its refineries’ Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. The oil refinery is expected to increase the new plant’s total annual capacity of renewable diesel to 1.2 billion gallons and renewable naphtha to 50 million gallons. Like Shell, Valero has a strong focus on sustainable aviation fuels and is investigating the technical capability to integrate FAS into the new renewable diesel facility in Port Arthur. Renewable fuels and FAS could be key to strengthening the ESG profile and creating long-term shareholder value.
Diversity and Equity at Bunge Limited
Mental wellness and diversity, to name a few, have become the foundation upon which organizations can improve their ESG rankings. As trends change, training, diversity, equity and inclusion have gained considerable attention across all industries. In 2021, Bunge provided its employees with more than 87,000 hours of training, and more than 60 participants completed targeted development programs for women. The company reports that nearly 44% of new hires within the organization were women.
Bunge’s human resources group also strengthened its focus on community building and outreach initiatives, including Proud & Allied, Women @Bunge, Veterans, Bunge Global Black Network and Asian Professionals. In addition, the U.S.-based company has also created a “Together We Grow” consortium – a (public-private) coalition between food companies, agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nonprofit organizations and universities – to address diversity and inclusion in the U.S. food and agriculture sectors. Brands will potentially put their energy into building an organization that promotes diversity and equitable representation at all levels.