Five Minutes With… Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President, Renewable Polymers and Chemicals, Neste

Mercedes Alonso will be appearing on the CEO Discussion Panel at the World Bioeconomy Forum (WCBEF) virtual event to be broadcast live from Finland

Neste is the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel refined from waste and residues, introducing renewable solutions also to the polymers and chemicals industries.

Mercedes Alonso will be appearing on the CEO Discussion Panel at the World Bioeconomy Forum (WCBEF) virtual event to be broadcast live from Ruka, Finland on 10th September 2020. She spoke to the WCBEF about Neste’s role in the circular bioeconomy as well as operating in a post COVID-19 world.

How important is the circular bioeconomy to your business and the industries you serve, and do you have a specific, inclusive, bioeconomy strategy for the future for the company you lead?

Neste’s business is built upon the circular bioeconomy; it is in our DNA and plays a key role in our strategy. Our business focuses on reducing climate emissions and fossil oil dependency by providing renewable and circular solutions for the transport, aviation and polymers and chemicals industries, among others. We are the leading renewable diesel and renewable aviation fuel producer in the world and a forerunner in developing new, sustainable solutions for the polymers and chemicals sector based on renewable raw materials as well as chemically recycled plastic waste. We both drive and benefit from the circular bioeconomy and wish to inspire others through collaborating with industry forerunners, sustainability-oriented, like ourselves, to drive change.

Do you see the circular bioeconomy as having an important role in the post Covid-19 world?

Absolutely! Neste remains as committed as ever to combat the climate crisis and plastic pollution and to support the shift towards a circular economy. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgency to tighten collaboration across companies, industries and country borders to develop and adopt environmentally-friendlier solutions in various areas of life. We must acknowledge the real price, the environmental toll, that comes with the current fossil oil dependency, for example, and invest in making a transformative, lasting change.

As none of the companies can solve these global challenges of enormous scale alone, we have joined forces with other sustainability-oriented companies to build a more sustainable future for all of us. Neste has, for example, joined the European Alliance for a Green Recovery to support and contribute to the efforts of ensuring that the fight against climate change is placed at the core of the economic strategy aiming for a quick recovery of the economies and the societies in Europe. To succeed, we have to jointly agree on how to mobilize our resources in driving business in a more sustainable manner. We also need to develop and execute new circular business rules to achieve transformational changes instead of incremental steps.

The World Bioeconomy Forum has a diverse range of high-level speakers and panelists, what are you hoping to achieve by taking part in the event, and what are your hopes for the future of the circular bioeconomy?

These events provide a great opportunity to connect and engage in a dialogue with people from different organizations sharing a common interest in bioeconomy and sustainability. By participating in the event, we are hoping to get some new insights on how we can continue building a more sustainable future, how we could drive change in the value chain, and how we could implement green strategies to make tangible, quantifiable transformation a reality.


World BioEconomy Forum, press release, 2020-07-15.


Neste Corporation
World Bioeconomy Forum


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