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Our project partners have observed that no fuel is 100% green or clean, but some fuel choices are “greener” than others. What makes one fuel “greener” than another?

The Greener Fuel Protocol

Our project partners often point out that no fuel is 100% green or clean, but some fuel choices are “greener” than others. But what makes one fuel “greener” than another?
As one part of the team’s fuel research, we’re working with universities, environmental NGOs, governments, industry and other public partners to develop a method of objectively and transparently evaluating different energy sources – not just in terms of traditional economic values such as cost and availability of supply – but also measuring their environmental and social impact.

This measurement system, called The Green(er) Fuel Protocol, reviews fuel choices in a broader, holistic manner.

Measuring the total costs and benefits of new fuels in terms of a “triple bottom line” of social, environmental and economic benefits means undertaking extensive study of the life cycle of fuels.

Critical factors considered as part of the evaluation process include the availability of fuels from local suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of transportation, inputs required to produce biomass fuels, challenges such as water content and production costs, recovery of appropriate materials diverted from disposal, and energy value and emissions.

Although still in its development stage, the goal is to develop objective, number-based standards to evaluate potential new fuels – a protocol eventually to be shared with other businesses, organizations and communities considering reducing their environmental footprint by switching to other energy sources. The objective is to develop careful decision-making tools, which embrace all factors such as the sustainability and safety of the fuel producer, and fuel user, greenhouse gases and other air emissions produced by the fuel, and the social benefits of using these new fuel sources.

“The quest for green energy alternatives is the move towards sustainable clean energy that might have looked like an idealist’s pursuit in the past, “says Dr. Darko Matovic of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Queen’s University
in Kingston, “but it is unfolding today as a viable, alternative to traditional emissions-dominated practices. A vibrant, multi-disciplinary team
of sustainability experts in energy, agriculture, environment and life cycle analysis, convened by Lafarge through the Cement2020 initiative, and dedicated to create visionary partnership with the local community, demonstrates that sustainable growth and use of locally available biomass can be beneficial to all. We are seeking to establish a sustainability model that can be adopted and adapted elsewhere, multiplying the benefits of sustainable energy.”

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