The Bio100 project accelerates the Helsinki metropolitan area in switching to bio-­based fuels

News 14.01.2020

When all buses, trucks and heavy equipment in the Helsinki Region shift to bio­fuels, emission reduction will be 120,000 tonnes CO₂ per year, which equals 80% reduction compared to the current situation. That equals annual emissions of nearly 30,000 residents of the Helsinki Region. Additionally, particulate emissions will reduce by 30%.

The Helsinki metropolitan area’s buses, heavy equipment and trucks are transitioning to waste and residue-based biofuels by the end of 2020. The collaboration between different parties enabled a faster transition towards biofuels and electricity.

The Bio100 change project’s goal was to facilitate and accelerate the transition of HSL’s buses and Helsinki City Construction Services, Stara’s, commercial vehicles to using 100 percent waste and residue-based biofuels by the end of 2020. The project was carried out during 2016–2019.

Smart & Clean and the Climate Leadership Coalition invited all the key actors to the same table and facilitated the discussion to set a common goal. Cooperation between different actors in the Bio100 project enabled a fast transition to biofuels without the need to upgrade vehicles or distribution infrastructure.

“We’ve clearly achieved a lot of good. When several actors work towards the same goal, the project’s impact is in a class of its own”, says the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority’s Project Manager Reijo Mäkinen, who led the Bio100 project. 

There are approximately 1,400 buses under HSL’s Helsinki metropolitan area transport, which consumer about 40,000 tonnes of fuel per year. Stara uses about 2,000 tonnes of fuel in its equipment. Overall, Finland produces 500,000 tonnes of biofuels per year.   

The Bio100 project approved goals that reflect the Helsinki Region’s determination to find fast solutions to mitigate climate change. From now on, HSL will be able to include a requirement in its competitive tenders that routes must be driven using biofuel or electricity.

Next, negotiations between transport operators, HSL and fuel suppliers will continue. The first HSL competitive tender that requires buses to run on biofuel or electricity was launched in autumn 2019.