The Alliance for Sustainable Schools (TASS) is pleased to announce that its member, The Harbour School (THS), and their school bus company, Jolly Bus Company (JBC), have begun trialling biodiesel in two school buses. THS is the first school in Hong Kong to do so. Biodiesel is an ultra-low-carbon fuel made from waste.
This development is the fruit of a campaign by TASS to get biodiesel in more school buses. The campaign was launched at the ReThink workshop in October which brought together experts from Shell, ASB Biodiesel, Green School Bali, WWF as well as THS and sustainability practitioners from several other international schools. Subsequent collaboration between THS and TASS culminated in the recent decision by JBC and THS to use biodiesel to reduce the carbon emissions from its bus service.
Anthony Dixon, Founder and Chairman of TASS said: “We are delighted to be seeing the first results of our campaign to get biodiesel in school buses. We congratulate The Harbour School and Jolly Bus on their leadership in demonstrating the use of biodiesel in school buses. We look forward to seeing many other schools and their bus companies follow this example.”
Transport is responsible for nearly 20% of Hong Kong’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Hong Kong Government’s strategy to decarbonize the economy by 2050 envisages widespread use of electric vehicles (EVs). However, the transition to EVs will take several decades because it requires significant investment in new buses, charging infrastructure and low carbon sources of electricity. Biodiesel can make a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions during the transition – it can be used immediately at scale without requirements for new infrastructure.
Pure biodiesel made from waste (B100) reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 85% compared to fossil diesel. It is manufactured in Hong Kong by three local companies which have the capacity to produce more than 100 million liters of biodiesel per year. This represents about 10% of the fossil diesel consumed annually in the road transport sector in Hong Kong. Biodiesel could therefore cut carbon emissions from road transport by 8.5 percent immediately. No other transport fuel or technology available today can achieve such a significant reduction in carbon emissions on such a short time scale.
This pioneering decision by THS and JBC illustrates the role TASS is playing as an agent for change for sustainable schools. By building a highly-connected network of schools committed to sustainability and engaging with innovative companies like JBC and local biodiesel manufacturers, TASS aims to demonstrate the feasibility of low carbon alternatives to the status quo. TASS can then scale the impact of these early pilot demonstrations by replicating them in a large number of schools around the world.
Kyle King, Co-Principal of The Harbour School said: “THS is pleased to be a member of The Alliance for Sustainable Schools and to have collaborated with them to achieve this breakthrough. They have helped mobilize the necessary expertise and bring together the right stakeholders to enable this. We have broken new ground here and I hope that makes it a bit easier for other schools to follow our example. It will validate TASS’s model of schools working together to accelerate the transition to our low-carbon future.”
Let’s get #biodieselinschoolbuses!