Biofuels sustainability information
Biofuels vary in the way they are produced with differing impacts on climate change, the environment and people. In order to provide New Zealanders with confidence that they are using sustainable biofuels, EECA has established a framework which allows biodiesel producers and retailers to report on the environmental credentials of their products.
See the background section below for information on how the figures in the table were calculated, and what the terms mean.
|Biofuel seller||Blend/Fuel||Biofuel feedstock||Feedstock origin||Greenhouse
gas emissions compared to petrol / diesel
|Fuel company statement|
20% biodiesel blend
Used cooking oil (90%) and rapeseed oil (10%)
| New Zealand
Allied Petroleum has a supply arrangement with Green Fuels New Zealand to deliver Biogold™ NZ20 - a mix of 80% mineral diesel and 20% biodiesel (see Green Fuels NZ Limited entry about feedstock source and production). Allied Petroleum delivers bulk fuel direct to rural and commercial businesses. Biogold™ NZ20 is now available in selected areas.
|Anchor Ethanol Ltd||100% bioethanol||Whey||New Zealand||35-50% reduction||
Anchor Ethanol sustainably produces bioethanol from a yeast fermentation of lactose contained in acid casein serum or permeate, which are by-products of milk processing. The steam used in distillation is generated from biogas or is produced during generation of electricity. Acid whey permeates and serum have a high Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) which makes them difficult to dispose of to land or to dispose of via biological wastewater treatment plants - most of the COD is converted to bioethanol during the fermentation process. The residues from the fermentation and distillation processes are used as a fertiliser on adjacent arable pasture where their valuable nutrient components, Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus are used to grow grass with reduced use of mineral fertilisers.
|Green Fuels NZ
|Used cooking oil (90%) and rapeseed oil (10%)||New Zealand||Greater than 80% reduction||
Green Fuels NZ biodiesel is produced from a blend of used cooking oil, graded for optimum use, and canola oil (oilseed rape) from rapeseed grown in New Zealand. The rapeseed is grown as a break-crop (between other crops), which allows farmers to condition the soil and raise the fertility of the land for future use in addition to producing both food and fuel. Once the canola oil is extracted, the remaining seed cake is a high protein animal food.
|Green Fuels NZ||20-60% biodiesel blend||Used cooking oil (90%) and rapeseed oil (10%)||New Zealand||16-18% to 48-54% reduction, depending on blend ratio
|Green Fuels NZ||
5% biodiesel blend
|Used cooking oil (90%) and rapeseed oil (10%)||New Zealand||4-4.5% reduction||(As above)|
|Gull New Zealand||
Up to 5% biodiesel
(Gull Diesel Max)
|Used cooking oil||New Zealand||4-4.5% reduction||
Gull New Zealand is committed to ensuring all biofuel supplied to its motorists complies with legislation, regulations and international guidelines relating to ensuring the sustainability of its biofuel products, including the source of feedstocks used to produce biodiesel. Gull supports government, industry and independent sustainability guidelines to ensure our fuels are produced and manufactured sustainably compared to fossil fuels. To this end, Gull is proud to source its biodiesel locally, which is produced from waste (used) vegetable oil. In addition, Gull has a strict 'No Palm Oil' policy for our biodiesel feedstock.
|Gull New Zealand||
up to 10% bioethanol
(Gull Force 10)
|New Zealand (whey) and Brazil (sugarcane)||5-6.5% reduction||Gull New Zealand is committed to ensuring all biofuel supplied to its motorists complies with legislation, regulations and international guidelines relating to ensuring the sustainability of its biofuel products, including the source of feedstocks used to produce ethanol and biodiesel. Gull supports government, industry and independent sustainability guidelines to ensure our fuels are produced and manufactured sustainably compared to fossil fuels. To this end, Gull is proud to source ethanol locally from Anchor Ethanol, which is produced from a by-product of dairy product manufacturing.
Gull is also sourcing 100% sugar-cane ethanol from Brazil and has insisted via its supply chain partners that suppliers provide a written declaration warranting the origin and land use on which the feedstock was grown. In addition the supplier must guarantee that the production of bioethanol does not involve any deforestation, irresponsible use of pesticides, or use of child or forced labour.
To ensure sustainability all bioethanol sourced from Brazil must be produced in general accordance with the principles and criteria from the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) or equivalent e.g. EU - RED (Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC). It is expected that full compliance and accreditation under these, or similar internationally recognised sustainability standards will become a mandatory requirement as these standards become recognised and implemented internationally.
|Gull New Zealand||
85% bioethanol (E85)
(Gull Force Pro)
|New Zealand (whey) and Brazil (sugarcane)||35-50% reduction||(As above)|
The information in the table is calculated by comparing the emissions from the biofuel, with the emissions of mineral diesel or petrol. The lifecycle emissions for the biofuel is calculated from data provided to EECA by biofuel producers and retailers, which is then independently checked. The biofuel emissions value is then compared against a standard life cycle emissions value for mineral diesel or petrol.
Carbon dioxide from combusting biofuels is not counted in this calculation. This is because carbon dioxide emitted by the biofuels during engine combustion is effectively cancelled out by the carbon dioxide that was recently absorbed from the atmosphere by the source of the biofuel, e.g., from plants growing. Greenhouse gases emitted during farming, manufacture and transportation of the biofuel are counted.
Biofuel is fuel that can be produced from renewable materials, such as plant and animal matter. The most common types of biofuels are biodiesel (as an alternative to diesel) and bioethanol (as an alternative to petrol).
Bioethanol is an alcohol fuel that is made from wastes, by-products and plants that contain sugars and starches. Bioethanol is usually available as a blend, mixed with petrol. In New Zealand bioethanol-blended petrol is available from some service stations in blends of up to 10%. or as E85 (85%).
Biodiesel is similar to ordinary diesel but is made from vegetable oils or animal fats. Blended with ordinary diesel, it makes a biodiesel blend. In New Zealand biodiesel can be retailed in blends of up to 5%. Higher biodiesel blends can be sold where there is a written contract for supply (wholesale).
A blend occurs when the biofuel is blended with petrol or diesel to make a biofuel blend. For example, E10, or 10% bioethanol-blended petrol means 10% bioethanol with 90% ordinary petrol. Likewise, B5, or 5% biodiesel blend, means 5% biodiesel with 95% ordinary diesel.
Feedstock refers to the base material that contains the main ingredient that produces the fuel e.g. whey that contains sugar, tallow that contains animal fat, rapeseed that contains rapeseed oil.
Feedstock origin is the country that the biofuel feedstock has come from before it is made into biodiesel. The country of feedstock origin may be different to the country in which the biofuel is produced.
Greenhouse gases are emitted through fuel use. The main greenhouse gas emitted through fuel use is carbon dioxide. Along with other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide contributes to climate change. Because the use of biofuels results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions than from fossil fuels, using biofuels in fuel blends can help minimise the negative impacts of climate change.
EECA's biofuels page has links to a range of information about biofuels