Our HVO100 Solution


Questions and answers

What is HVO100?

HVO100, which stands for “100% Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil”, is a renewable fuel for diesel engines. It is produced from vegetable oils, waste and residues, and other organic materials. Compared to regular diesel, HVO100 emits up to 90% less CO2 because it utilizes sustainable resources.

You can use HVO100 directly in your diesel car.

PostNL/Spring GDS also pays attention to the origin of the biofuels they use. For HVO100, no trees are cut down; only waste and residual materials are utilized in its production.

Why don’t you just use HVO100 for destinations outside of the Netherlands?

Ideally, we would like to do that, but HVO100 is not yet available everywhere in Europe. Especially not with the stringent requirements that PostNL/Spring GDS imposes on this fuel. PostNL/Spring GDS has high standards for HVO100: it must be made exclusively from waste materials to prevent production from contributing to food shortages and deforestation. Other types of HVO100 are also available, which can be made from raw materials that are also suitable for consumption, and even from palm oil. However, palm oil is often associated with rainforest destruction. Therefore, we have been searching for alternative raw materials for our fuel.

What does ‘HVO100 Out The Tank’ mean exactly?

The easiest way to explain this is through an example: green electricity. When you sign a contract for green electricity, your energy provider ensures that they purchase the amount of energy you consume as green electricity. This energy is then added to the overall energy grid. This means that the electricity coming out of your outlet is not actually 100% green; it’s a mix from the entire network (often referred to as “grey”). After all, there’s only one cable running to your outlet. However, administratively, your energy provider has indeed acquired the necessary amount of green electricity. For this, they receive Guarantees of Origin (GOs), which are certificates proving that your green electricity has been purchased. By separating the administrative process from the physical delivery of electricity to you, the energy sector has significantly accelerated the sustainable transition and can sell it as green electricity to you.

This principle also applies to our HVO100 Out The Tank solution: we purchase the required volume of HVO100 for our international transport. This HVO100 is pumped into the overall diesel network and sold as regular diesel at gas stations. We receive certificates as evidence of our HVO100 purchase. Only we can attribute this HVO100 to ourselves; no one else can.

We choose this method because the quality of HVO100 we demand cannot be refueled along our routes, and because HVO100 is insufficiently available. This approach prevents double counting and achieves the same CO2 reduction as if we had been able to drive on HVO100 in our tanks.

Why did you choose this approach?

We are always looking for ways to reduce our emissions further. We want to do this as efficiently as possible. Sometimes, this means looking beyond our own operations, especially because we have physical limitations (HVO100 that meets our requirements cannot be refueled in pure form everywhere). By setting this standard, we hope to accelerate the transition for the entire transport and logistics industry.

Currently, HVO100 is the best solution for the transport world to drastically and immediately reduce CO2 emissions. HVO100 complies with the EU diesel standard EN15940 and has up to 90% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil diesel. We are currently in a transitional phase where long-term solutions like electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered vehicles are not yet scalable for long-distance freight transport. For now, HVO100 is the best transport option for current road freight, moving toward sustainable long-distance transport.

How does the whole transport sector benefit from PostNL/Spring GDS’s HVO100 Out The Tank solution?

The entire transport sector benefits because PostNL/Spring GDS has established a way to achieve this. We are the first one who add HVO100 to the international diesel network. Our fellow transporters can take advantage of this, further sustaining transportation. With this approach, we hope that HVO100 becomes more widely available for direct refueling everywhere.

How do your customers benefit?

We make the emission reduction through HVO Out The Tank directly and at no extra cost available for all our customers who use our international road transport in Europe.

Customers who choose PostNL/Spring GDS know that they are contributing to the growth of sustainable transport throughout Europe, and we hope that HVO100 becomes more widely available at gas stations as a result.

PostNL/Spring GDS reduces 12 kilotonnes CO2. How much is this?

With the purchase of 4 million liters of HVO100, we save 12 kilotons of CO2. This accounts for 6.6% of PostNL’s total annual CO2 emissions. To put it in perspective, this reduction is equivalent to over 5,000 petrol cars driving for a year taken off the road.

How do you provide insights into your reductions with this approach?

Our process is independently audited by an accountant. In our annual report, you will see both our location-based emissions, which represent the physical CO2 emissions generated during our transport, and our market-based emissions, which account for the CO2 emissions associated with the HVO100 we have administratively purchased.

Does the mix cause problems for vehicles?

HVO100 can be mixed and used seamlessly in any diesel vehicle. Its composition is identical to that of regular diesel, unlike some other biofuels. As a result, it can be blended without causing any issues for vehicles. HVO100 is free from the impurities that plagued first-generation biodiesel. This means that HVO can be used in blends with fossil diesel ranging from 1% to 100%, without negatively affecting engine performance or maintenance cycles. For road transport companies, their trucks are their greatest assets. It’s crucial to power these trucks with fuels that support healthy engine performance.

These factors contribute to making HVO100 a more sustainable solution with up to 90% less emissions than regular diesel.

Where is the HVO100 added to the diesel?

We mix the HVO100 with regular diesel and that mix is diffused within the European network.

How does someone know if he fuels the mix?

Unfortunately, you cannot see. At the pump, consumers refuel with the physically cleaner fuel (complying with the norm set by the government), but they do not pay extra for it. We have taken care of this ‘bill’.

Do you compensate your CO2 emissions?

Starting from 2024, PostNL has ceased compensating CO2 emissions for the Netherlands and Belgium. The focus here is on actively reducing our emissions through further electrification and the use of renewable fuels. Internationally, there are fewer opportunities for this because the electric vehicle range is not yet extensive enough, and hydrogen is not yet widely available. As a result, we offset all emissions from shipments to European destinations that cannot be reduced by using Gold Standard certificates.

The Gold Standard is a certification established by organizations like WWF for projects that promote sustainable development in specific areas and aim to reduce CO2 emissions. Dutch organizations can purchase credits produced by such projects, thereby investing in the project and offsetting their own CO2 emissions. The certification is awarded and managed by the Gold Standard Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

Why would you choose PostNL/Spring GDS as a sustainable partner?

When you choose PostNL/Spring GDS, you can be certain that you are contributing to the growth of sustainable transport throughout Europe. After all, we are the first one to add HVO100 to the European diesel network. The more people ship with PostNL, the greener the diesel blend you refuel will be, and the faster HVO100 will become widely available for refueling everywhere.

What are your guarantees?

- The HVO100 we use avoids raw materials that could otherwise be used for consumption, including those from rainforests. This way, there is no need to generate additional agricultural land or reduce land used for food production. Ensuring high-quality and sustainable raw materials is crucial for us. (Annex IX A-B excluding POME)

- We invest 100% of our international road transport to European destinations in HVO100.

How can PostNL/Spring GDS contribute to making the transport market more sustainable?

We are the first one to invest 100% of our diesel use for European road transport in HVO100. We are constantly exploring the best possible solutions for sustainability. We achieve this by using electric vehicles, employing trains, and, where feasible, substituting regular diesel with HVO100. Additionally, we continuously optimize our routes.

Collaborating with customers and partners, we work on more sustainable packaging, eliminating air from packaging, and making our process tools more eco-friendly, such as reusable pallet boxes.

Why can’t we drive electric vehicles to foreign destinations?

In 2023, we conducted research on methods to significantly sustainably transform international long-distance road transport. This endeavor proved complex due to several factors:

Limited electric truck range: Currently, electric trucks have a restricted range, making them less effective for long-haul operations.

Unavailable hydrogen trucks: Hydrogen-powered trucks are not yet widely available.

HVO100 Availability: HVO100, a renewable fuel capable of reducing CO2 emissions by up to 90%, is not universally accessible. As a result, we face challenges in incorporating HVO100 into the majority of our routes, given its limited availability.

Despite these obstacles, we remain committed to pursuing sustainable solutions for our international transport operations

When does PostNL/Spring GDS become Net Zero?

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) calls for realistic CO2 reduction goals. By 2030, PostNL aims to significantly reduce the majority of its own CO2 emissions, this encompasses our own fleet and buildings and last-mile delivery within the Netherlands. For the remaining emissions, particularly in scope 3 where Spring GDS contributes the majority, we require an additional 10 years. This means that by 2040, we expect to operate in a climate-neutral manner according to SBTi standards for the entire PostNL Group.