Heavy Trucks, Not Cars, The Real Polluters, Says Oil Chief

Regulators should target the haulage and logistics companies rather than forcing the general public to curb their driving and adopt more sustainable practices, Simo Honkanen, senior vice president of sustainability for Neste Oil, says. In a speech at the Biofuels 2009 summit in Budapest, hosted by the World Refining Association, he said: “We believe that heavy trucks, long haul lorries and distribution vehicles are and will be the big problem for at least 10 to 15 years,” he said. ” It is very difficult to find any alternative energy form in that sector but it needs to have a sustainable function fuel.” Honkanen said that he was basing his proposals on a recent project undertaken by Deutsche Post DHL, which revealed that more than 80 per cent of all CO2 emissions from the delivery company’s vehicles were generated on medium- to long-distance routes. Estimates also indicated that levels of long distance road haulage could double by 2020. “I believe that if we analyse the traffic patterns in Europe we will come to the conclusion that emissions are not coming from passenger vehicles – like my wife’s car which is running 5kms in the morning and 5kms in the afternoon, but are actually coming coming from the trucks that run at night across Europe,” said Honkanen. “If you want to have an impact on the CO2 emissions you should focus on this segment instead of having equally spread activity.” Neste has a vested interest in pushing the idea that hauliers should clean up their act, given that the company produces just the kind of sustainable biodiesel – NExBTL renewable diesel – which it believes could help cut emissions from road transport firms. Deutsche Post DHL is already trialling Neste NExBTL biodiesel as part of wider climate change efforts to reduce its CO2 intensity 30 per cent company-wide by 2020. In a long-term trial, which is due to run until 2011, DHL is operating ten Mercedes-Benz trucks in the Greater Nuremberg area, which will be driven a total of 3.3 million kilometers with expected savings of more than 2,000 tons of CO2. “As a global logistics company that operates a large fleet of vehicles, we want to actively support research into biofuels from renewable sources,” said Steffen Frankenberg, company strategist at Deutsche Post DHL in a statement earlier this year. “That’s because we think that second- and third-generation biofuels can significantly reduce our carbon footprint,” But while biofuels offer one solution to improving the sustainability of road transport, some haulage companies have resorted to more extreme measures. Earlier this week, UK industry giant Eddie Stobart said it will replace some of its iconic lorries with an inaugural European rail freight trip. The company’s chief executive William Stobart told the Observer that customer pressure had forced the move. “There has been a real change of attitude from the companies we deal with in recent months,” he told the newspaper. “Suddenly they all want to know if they can have their goods carried in an environmentally sensitive way and, in particular, if they can have them moved by train.” Taken from:Truckandcv.com