FORT WORTH, TX — The Clean Fuels Conference once again serves as the epicenter for innovation and sustainability within the energy sector as it celebrates the exceptional achievements of industry leaders and visionaries this week. The annual Clean Fuels Awards honor the outstanding contributions of a diverse group of individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.
“Our success relies on the dedication of these advocates who unite us as one robust and cohesive industry,” commended Donnell Rehagen, CEO at Clean Fuels Alliance America. “We are thankful for their forward-thinking leadership that continues to advance fuels that are better, cleaner, and available now.”
The 2024 Clean Fuels Awards honorees are:
Industry Partnership Award: ASTM International
ASTM International, the globally recognized standards development organization, will receive the Industry Partnership Award for its ongoing collaboration with the Clean Fuels’ technical team and the greater fuels industry to regularly revise and improve fuel standards, including ASTM D6751, the specification for biodiesel.
ASTM standards are designed to enhance product quality, safety, and performance across various industries. The committees within ASTM take a consensus-driven approach that involves stakeholders from the industry, government, academia, and other sectors, working together to create standards that facilitate innovation, ensure product reliability, and support global trade.
In 2023, the committee responsible for the standards on petroleum products, liquid fuels, and lubricants (D02) recognized D6751 as one of the top eight most influential standards ever produced by ASTM thanks to rigorous cooperative research efforts and its positive results. The most recent revision included the addition of a new low-metals (LM) grade of biodiesel, leading to higher blend-use approvals from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Thanks to these ongoing efforts, biodiesel is considered a premium product that enhances performance while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in compression ignition (diesel) engines.
Impact Award: John Bullock, Darling Ingredients
John Bullock, Executive Vice President – Chief Strategy Officer for Darling Ingredients, will receive the Impact Award for his years of dedication to expanding opportunities for the rendering industry. Darling is a world leader in “upcycling” animal byproducts to their highest value through the creation of new markets including renewable fuels. With a passion for agriculture, Bullock spearheaded Darling’s entry into the renewable diesel market in 2013, aiming to optimize the utility of its waste fats. In collaboration with its 50/50 joint venture, Diamond Green Diesel, the company has transformed into a major player in the global renewable diesel market and is poised to become a leading producer of sustainable aviation fuel.
Bullock began his career at General Mills in 1978 in ingredient purchasing and risk management and plans to retire on Feb. 15, 2024. Thanks to his tenacity throughout his career, the rendering industry has entered new markets, created new products and grown tremendously. His leadership has laid a strong foundation for the continued growth and success of clean fuels.
Inspiration Award: PepsiCo
PepsiCo, Inc., the multinational food and beverage company, will receive the Inspiration Award, honoring its steadfast progress in decarbonizing one of the largest private fleets in North America.
In 2021, PepsiCo announced its commitment to a strategic end-to-end transformation with sustainability at the center of company growth with the introduction of its PepsiCo Positive (pep+) initiative. As part of its broader sustainability goals, the company has set targets to reduce its carbon footprint and increase environmental efficiency by reaching net-zero emissions by 2040.
To meet its climate ambitions with a complex fleet operation, PepsiCo has turned to renewable sources including investments in alternative fuels to decarbonize and enhance operational efficiency. The company is taking an innovative approach to employ widespread use of renewable diesel for its California operations and uses biodiesel blends in other parts of the country. PepsiCo also has a partnership with Optimus Technologies for a B100 pilot project.
Leveraging PepsiCo’s expansive reach, the shift to renewable energy within all facets of the company’s owned and regulated operations, franchise endeavors, and third-party involvements could lead to a substantial decrease of around 2.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2040. This reduction is equivalent to removing over half a million cars from the roads for an entire year.
“These distinguished recipients have demonstrated unparalleled dedication and vision, embodying the spirit of innovation that defines the clean fuels industry,” said Rehagen. “Clean Fuels extends its congratulations to all the awardees, acknowledging their invaluable contributions to the advancement of biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.”