Canola: Canada’s ideal resource for clean, renewable fuels
Canadian canola is used in biofuel production around the world because it’s a low-carbon, sustainable and renewable resource – and it’s in abundant supply.
When blended into diesel fuel, canola-based biofuel can be used by passenger vehicles and trucks, as well as off-road equipment used in mining, forestry, construction, agriculture and marine industries. 1
Most importantly, biofuels are ready to use right now. That’s a clear advantage over other technologies requiring gradual adoption.
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How canola helps the environment
Plants take in carbon dioxide and turn it into oil and protein that we can use for food and fuel. The sustainable practices used by Canadian farmers also allow the canola plant to sequester carbon in the soil, preventing it from becoming a greenhouse gas (GHG). This means that compared to other fuels, canola-based biofuels significantly lower GHG emissions. In fact, canola-based biofuel reduces lifecycle GHG emissions by up to 90 per cent compared to traditional diesel. 2
Making a difference in Canada
How more canola biofuels can reduce Canada’s GHG emissions
Canada faces an emissions challenge.
The federal government has announced the development of a Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) with a clear objective to reduce GHG emissions by more than 20 megatonnes. This will help Canada meet its commitment to reduce total emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels.
Renewable fuel standards that reward low-carbon biofuels are integral to helping Canada achieve its emissions-reduction targets and transition to a low-carbon economy. Today, diesel fuel in Canada must contain 2 per cent biofuel, and even at this modest level, canola-based biofuels help reduce annual GHG emissions by 4.4 megatonnes. 3
Incorporating the advantages of canola-based biofuels into the CFS will lead to further GHG reductions. In fact, annual emissions could be reduced by 3.5 mega-tonnes. 4
In Canada, approximately 24 per cent of total GHG emissions come from the transportation sector. 5 Canola-based biofuel is a cleaner-burning alternative to diesel fuel that can be blended for use in on-road vehicles, from municipal fleets to long-haul trucks, as well as off-road equipment used for mining, forestry, construction, agriculture and marine industries. 6
Benefits for all Canadians
Canola-based biofuel doesn’t just help Canada in its fight against climate change—it helps the Canadian economy by creating jobs and opportunity. Learn more about canola’s economic value.
Canola-based biofuels are made from crops grown by 43,000 Canadian farmers.
More canola-based biofuel use means more jobs, investment and expertise stay in Canada.
Canadian canola contributes $26.7 billion to our economy, supporting more than 250,000 jobs. 7
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- Canola Biodiesel Lifecycle Analysis Report – This analysis demonstrates that canola biodiesel reduces lifecycle greenhouse gases by 90 per cent compared fossil diesel. Canadian canola production methods and data were used to determine the energy balance and GHG emissions.
- Lifecycle Analysis Canola Biodiesel – Presentation by Don O-Connor, (S&T)2 Consultants Inc., at the Canola Research Summit on April 13, 2011.
- Health Canada. 2012. Human Health Risk Assessment for Biodiesel Production, Distribution and Use in Canada. 56-70, 91-106.
- O’Connor, D. 2011. Lifecycle Analysis Canola Biodiesel, (S&T)2 Consultants Inc. 22.
- Wolinetz, M., Hein, M. 2017. Biofuels in Canada 2017, Tracking biofuel consumption, feedstocks and avoided greenhouse gas emissions. Navius Research Inc. ii,15, 22.
- Assuming 5% canola-based biofuel content in diesel fuel.
- According to calculations using GHGenius v4.03, assuming a 5% RFS for diesel that is fulfilled entirely by canola biodiesel.
- According to calculations using GHGenius v4.03, assuming a 5% RFS for diesel and canola’s current 40% share of the feedstock mix is maintained.
- LMC International. 2016. The Economic Impact of Canola on the Canadian Economy. 2,8-9.