Missed the National Biodiesel Board Engage conference in San Diego, California, or need a recap? Here’s some of the takeaways from the conference:
E – Educate: One of the main goals of the conference is to educate attendees on all things biodiesel and biodiesel related. One of the educational sessions was Biodiesel 101, which gave attendees all the basics they needed to know about the biodiesel industry. NBB also hosted sessions on educating the consumer, such as Riding for the Brand, a session designed to share how biodiesel companies can help America’s Advanced Biofuel stand out in a growing field of options for consumers.
N – Navigate: While there is still policy uncertainty, biodiesel experts from across the country shared insights to help attendees navigate expectations for the coming years. A focus for many biodiesel leaders is federal and state policy, and the impacts they are making in the industry. “It has always been NBB’s strategy to help establish state and regional policies to compliment the federal policies that shape our industry’s market,” says NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. During the conference, NBB shared updated information on what 2019 looks like for America’s Advanced Biofuel. The Renewable Fuel Standard, trade, tax incentive, low carbon fuel policies, and Minnesota’s B20 state standard were amongst topics covered.
G – Gather: This year, more than 800 biodiesel producers, distributors, retailers, and other industry advocates gathered for the conference.
A – Answer: During the conference, professional speakers answered key questions about the biodiesel market, new regulations, critical policies, alternative fuels, biodiesel branding, and environmental impacts.
G – Next (G)eneration: Each year the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program offers scholarships to college students for an opportunity to participate alongside other industry experts at the conference. The program is intended to foster professional relationships between budding and established scientists, share accurate information, and increase collaboration with academia and the biodiesel industry. At this year’s conference, scholarship winners had the opportunity to share their biodiesel research during a poster session and held a breakout session, One Small Step: The Next Generation of Biodiesel Scientists, to share their key findings and industry breakthroughs.
E – Environment: The environment is always top of mind at the National Biodiesel Conference. Biodiesel’s goal is to promote and advance biodiesel use through sustainable initiatives and practices. Integral sessions discussed how biodiesel companies can commit to the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions and advance affordable, domestic renewable fuels to clean the environment.
“Opponents of the RFS early on thought that sustainability might be a weakness to exploit. We knew that was wrong, that science was on our side – but we hadn’t galvanized biodiesel’s sustainability story with the data, research, and scientific thought leaders we needed to counter our opponents’ emotion-based attacks,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “We knew the bombs hurled at biodiesel had little to do with actual facts, but we had to have more than that to defend our fuel.”
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