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Fri July 19 2024

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HVO sourcing guide: how to navigate the pitfalls

13 Jun Sceptics and enthusiasts have joined forces to produce a report on the sustainability credentials of hydrotreated vegetable oil as a replacement fuel.

Image source - Irine Miller via Shutterstock
Image source - Irine Miller via Shutterstock

Responsible Sourcing of HVO – A Comprehensive Guide is described as “a vital resource for organisations committed to environmentally responsible practices in the procurement of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO)”.

The report has been produced by Action Sustainability for the Supply Chain Sustainability School, with input from organisations including Balfour Beatty, Kier, Costain, Sunbelt Rentals, Speedy and the Environment Agency.

The authors stress that the purpose of the document is neither to promote the use of HVO, nor to dissuade organisations from using it. “Its aim is simply to present the facts, as far as they are known, with relevant procurement guidance applied to that knowledge to advise the reader,” they say.

It makes clear that HVO is not an ecological silver bullet for sustainability, but with diligence in procurement, it has merits.

The guidance covers the entire lifecycle of HVO – from raw material sourcing, processing and shipping to final use. It provides strategies for managing and mitigating potential sustainability risks and impacts within the HVO supply chain.

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It includes: an examination of the sustainability benefits and impacts of biofuels, with a focus on HVO; an overview of HVO availability and market size; analysis of potential market distortions affecting HVO; and recommendations for risk mitigation mechanisms.

Ben Stone, head of environmental sustainability at Kier, said the report provided “clear and much-needed guidance to support the industry with procuring this fuel responsibly.”

Jo Potts, Balfour Beatty’s sustainability director (responsible sourcing & social impact), said: “It’s refreshing to see this guide, which we are pleased to have contributed to, takes a holistic approach and moves away from carbon tunnel-vision, clearly setting out the pros, the cons and, most critically, the unknowns of HVO fuels.”

James Cadman, head of consultancy and climate at Action Sustainability, said: "When procuring HVO, it is essential to conduct due diligence to source sustainably from reputable suppliers, using assurance schemes like the UK’s Renewable Fuels Assurance Scheme (RFAS). This approach is crucial for transitioning away from fossil fuels, protecting the planet, and achieving net zero targets responsibly."

The report is available via actionsustainability.com

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