New Report Unveils Sustainable Path: Decoding HVO for Responsible Biofuel Procurement


A groundbreaking report, “Responsible Sourcing of HVO – A Comprehensive Guide,” has been released, aiming to accelerate the global transition towards sustainable energy. Developed by Action Sustainability for the Supply Chain Sustainability School, this report is a vital resource for organisations committed to environmentally responsible practices in the procurement of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). 

As many organisations pursue net zero targets, the role of fuels and power is crucial. HVO has emerged as a viable alternative to fossil diesel, a shift endorsed by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) in its zero diesel sites route map. However, the sustainability benefits of HVO are complex and not always straightforward. 

In response to these complexities, twelve Supply Chain Sustainability School Partners* have co-funded this guidance to elucidate the sustainability challenges associated with HVO.  

Ben Stone, Head of Environmental Sustainability at Kier Group, said: “The construction industry has a key role in supporting the UK’s transition to a lower carbon economy. This report and its recommendations shine a light on the role HVO can play, and where it can be utilised to provide a low-carbon solution. Working collaboratively with the Supply Chain Sustainability School and its Partners, we were pleased to advise on the research and development of the Responsible Sourcing of HVO report to provide clear and much-needed guidance to support the industry with procuring this fuel responsibly.” 

Jo Potts, Sustainability Director, Responsible Sourcing & Social Impact at Balfour Beatty said: “At Balfour Beatty, we take pride in acting responsibly, considering the full environmental, social and economic implications of our actions to ensure that we’re not solving one challenge whilst creating another. 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.” 

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. 

Key highlights of the report include: 

·         Examination of the sustainability benefits and impacts of biofuels, with a focus on HVO. 

·         Overview of HVO availability and market size. 

·         Analysis of potential market distortions affecting HVO. 

·         Recommendations for risk mitigation mechanisms. 

The guide provides actionable recommendations to help organisations make informed decisions, manage risks, and confidently mitigate the sustainability impacts of using and procuring HVO. 

Dr. James Cadman, Head of Consultancy and Climate at Action Sustainability, stated: “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.” 

By promoting sustainable procurement practices, this report marks a new era of conscientious decision-making in the energy sector. It empowers organisations to uphold environmental stewardship without compromising operational efficiency or profitability. 

Access the full report here. 

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