Renewable fuels company Neste has launched a new holiday recycling campaign that would collect the fat from baked Christmas hams in an effort to produce enough 100% renewable diesel fuel to drive around the world three times.
The festive charity stunt aims to demonstrate the power of recycling and circular economy – in addition to promoting renewable and low-emission fuels.
As reported, grocery stores and service stations across Finland have set up collection points for ham fat. The collected fat will go on to be processed and then turned into a renewable diesel. The result will be what Neste is calling “Christmas diesel.”
By producing 100% renewable diesel from waste fat, the fuel’s carbon footprint can be reduced by up to 90% when compared with regular diesel.
According to Neste, baked ham is a staple at Finnish Christmas dinners, with a whopping 15 million pounds consumed annually by the nation of 5.5 million over each festive season. Neste calculates that the fat contained in an average-sized ham could produce enough fuel for a 1.8-mile drive in a regular car. Overall, the company says the campaign could produce enough fuel to drive around the world three times.
“We are constantly on the look for new renewable raw materials that we can turn into low-emission fuels. At the moment, it is not commercially viable to source waste fats directly from homes or even small restaurants, but that might change in the future. Our goal with this campaign is to bring the idea of circular economy closer to consumers, encourage recycling and environmental consciousness and, of course, spread some holiday cheer,” says Osmo Kammonen, vice president of communications and brand marketing for Neste.
After the campaign, the fuel will be sold at Neste’s service stations, with all the proceeds donated to charity.
Neste touts the global use of renewable diesel, considering its vastly more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels and burns cleaner, thus serving as a better choice for engines.
Several companies, including Google and UPS, and major cities, including Sacramento, San Francisco, and Oakland, have already switched their entire municipal fleets to Neste Renewable Diesel, effectively dropping their CO2 footprint by 50%. It is also available in blended or unblended forms to private car owners in the U.S. and the Nordics.
“Neste Renewable Diesel is a solution to reduce both greenhouse-gas emissions and tailpipe emissions. Switching to Neste Renewable Diesel does not require any additional investments on infrastructure or engine modifications. Thus, fleets can switch to renewable diesel overnight,” says Kaisa Hietala, executive vice president of renewable products for Neste Corp. “We want to give public and private fleets, as well as consumers, options to make responsible choices.”