Sustainable biofuels information

Biofuels vary in the way they are produced with differing impacts on climate change, the environment and people. To provide New Zealanders with confidence that they are using sustainable biofuels, EECA have established a framework which allows biodiesel producers and retailers to report on the environmental credentials of their products.

Biofuel sellerBlend/FuelBiofuel feedstock Feedstock originGreenhouse gas emissions compared to petrol / diesel
Allied Petroleum  20% biodiesel blend (Biogold™NZ20)  Used cooking oil (90%) and rapeseed oil (10%)  New Zealand  16-18% reduction 
Anchor Ethanol Ltd  100% bioethanol  Whey New Zealand 35-50% reduction
Green Fuels NZ 100% biodiesel (Biogold™NZ100) Used cooking oil (90%) and rapeseed oil (10%) New Zealand  Greater than 80% reduction
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 (Biogold™NZ5)  Used cooking oil (90%) and rapeseed oil (10%)  New Zealand 4-4.5% reduction 
Gull New Zealand Up to 5% biodiesel (Gull Diesel Max)  Used cooking oil  New Zealand  4-4.5% reduction 
Gull New Zealand  up to 10% bioethanol (Gull Force 10) Whey (50%) Sugarcane (50%) New Zealand (whey) and Brazil (sugarcane)  5-6.5% reduction 
Gull New Zealand 85% bioethanol (E85) (Gull Force Pro)  Whey (40%) Sugarcane (60%) New Zealand (whey) and Brazil (sugarcane) 35-50% reduction


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 compared against a standard life cycle emissions value for mineral diesel or petrol.

Carbon dioxide from burning 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, for example from plants growing. Greenhouse gases emitted during farming, manufacture and transportation of the biofuel are counted.

The greenhouse gas emissions calculations for biodiesel and bioethanol are based on the following URS reports.

URS report - Life cycle greenhouse gas emission model for New Zealand biodiesels - EECA website

Peer review of URS report on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions model for New Zealand biodiesel - EECA website

URS report - Greenhouse gas life cycle analysis of ethanol from whey - EECA website

Peer review of URS report on greenhouse gas life cycle analysis of ethanol from whey - EECA website

Fuel company statements

Allied Petroleum

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

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

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. 

Gull New Zealand

 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.