Transitioning from oil to renewables – cost or investment?

We hear from Neste after a decade of transitioning from a regional oil refinery to a global leader in renewable solutions to see if the investment is paying off.

Neste’s transformation from a regional oil refinery to becoming a global leader in renewable and circular solutions speaks loudly about limitless curiosity, courage, hard work and perseverance. This inspiring journey has for example put Neste on the list of the 20 most transformative companies of the last decade globally and made it a winner of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards.
Now is the right time to also update the Neste brand and to make a bold promise to continue on this transformational path, to the benefit of future generations: Change runs on renewables.
The latest report by Brand Finance shows that the world’s top 50 most valuable oil and gas brands have, on average, lost 16% of their brand value. At the same time, Neste’s brand is growing in value. According to Brand Finance, in 2020 Neste was the third most valuable Finnish brand and the second fastest growing brand in Finland with a growth of 26% year-on-year. Neste was the highest placed new entrant to the ranking, and the company’s transformed strategy and updated brand have catapulted it to growth.
Neste’s transformation became visible in its brand strategy update in 2015, when Neste Oil became Neste. Since then, the company’s market cap has grown by over 800% according to Brand Finance.
Neste’s consistent work with renewables has been paying off, as demonstrated most recently also by the company’s reported Q1 figures. More than 90% of Neste’s comparable operating profits now come from its renewables business. Renewable products brought in a total of 294 million euros in comparable operating profit in the first quarter of 2021.
“This achievement is based on the transformation of Neste’s business in the past decade and we’re very proud of our work so far. We continue to expand our business, but we are also making significant investments into innovation and R&D to make sure that we can give solutions for combating climate change also in the future,” says Minna Aila, SVP, sustainability and corporate affairs at Neste.
From air to the roads – renewables run the world
Neste’s transformation and profitability have a solid foundation. The company’s journey towards a more sustainable future started in the 2000s, when it introduced its NEXBTL technology that allows Neste to turn a wide variety of renewable raw materials into premium products.
Neste MY Renewable Diesel™ keeps making transportation more sustainable together with consumers and partners. In the Netherlands, used cooking oil from McDonald’s waste stream is turned into Neste MY Renewable Diesel to power HAVI’s logistics. Neste’s renewable diesel results in significant GHG emission reduction over the fuel’s lifecycle compared to fossil diesel.
Neste is also working with major airlines, such as American Airlines, Lufthansa, KLM, and Finnair on sustainable aviation, and the product is already used by over 10 airlines globally. Neste just announced a capacity modification investment in its Rotterdam refinery. Together with its Singapore expansion, Neste will have the capacity of producing 1.5 million tons of sustainable aviation fuel annually by the end of 2023.
The latest addition to Neste’s renewable product portfolio is Neste RE™, a 100% renewable and recycled raw material for plastics production. It takes on the global plastics waste challenge by bringing alternative solutions to the plastics and chemicals industry.
“Neste’s transformation shows that change really runs on renewables. Aviation and road transportation are the biggest industries that can benefit from lower-emission renewable fuels. We can offer real, fast and scalable solutions where they really matter – so that societies can run more sustainably,” continues Aila.
Digitally recycled video showcases the brand promise
Even Neste’s latest brand film supports the renewed brand promise “Change runs on renewables,” as the film is made entirely out of 120 different recycled video clips edited together to create a strong visual piece. The film brings up powerful moments from history, where revolutionary change was made while showing that even recycling can go digital.
“With our new brand film we wanted to honor the changemakers of the past and present. The change we need today, the change to carbon-neutrality, requires change in both mindsets and actions. This change is a team play and a choice we can all make – together we can create a healthier planet for our children,” says Aila.