Calif. environmental efforts headline 'Eye on Biodiesel' awards

By The National Biodiesel Board | January 27, 2014

Few states have as significant of an impact on environmental regulations as the state of California. As the industry honors champions and those who have made significant impacts on the biodiesel industry during the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in San Diego it is fitting that multiple award winners reside within the Golden State. California is a hotbed for biodiesel activities including the state low carbon fuel standard, innovative production facilities, university research, a variety of biodiesel users, and much more. 

“The biodiesel industry would not be what it is without champions and supporters like these Eye on Biodiesel honorees,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. “We are proud to honor our award winners who have made a substantial impact in getting biodiesel to where it is today, a fully commercialized advanced biofuel that is produced from coast to coast.”

NBB recognizes the 2014 “Eye on Biodiesel” award winners. The honorees are:


The California Air Resources Board. The State of California continues to serve as a national and world leader in regulations related to environmental sustainability, and the California Air Resources Board is at the heart of those efforts. In January of 2010, Air Resources Board staff successfully implemented the first ever market-oriented carbon reduction policy for transportation fuels, a policy known as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Since that time, use and production of biodiesel and other renewable fuels has increased significantly. Californians have since enjoyed the benefits of cleaner air, growth in green jobs, and increased fuel diversity.



General Motors, the B20-Approved Chevrolet Cruze. General Motors continues to be a leading biodiesel supporter among Original Equipment Manufacturers. This year the company took another step forward introducing the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel – the first light-duty diesel passenger sedan in the U.S. to be fully approved for use with B20 biodiesel blends. The Cruze’s new ECOTEC 2.0L Turbocharged Diesel engine powered by ultra-low sulfur biodiesel blends provides tailpipe emissions as clean as or cleaner than natural gas and gasoline, while providing superior performance and industry-leading fuel economy of over 46 MPG highway. The Chevy Cruze is the cleanest diesel passenger car model ever produced by General Motors, and with the use of clean, renewable B20, it's also now the greenest.


Industry Partnership: 

Kirk Leeds, Iowa Soybean Association. Kirk Leeds, CEO of the Iowa Soybean Association, has been a leader among soybean organizations in supporting biodiesel efforts since the industry’s inception. ISA’s support of the National Biodiesel Board over the years has allowed the industry to prepare and face the challenges of being a billion-plus-gallon Advanced Biofuel. His visionary leadership has helped to maintain a mutually-beneficial, strong connection between the soybean and biodiesel industries. Kirk and ISA have been at the forefront of improving agriculture’s environmental performance. Through partnerships with farmers, environmental groups, agri-business and academia, ISA is helping lead efforts to identify practical solutions for complex environmental issues. 



Len Hering, RADM, USN, California Center for Sustainable Energy. Rear Admiral Len Hering, Sr. (U.S. Navy, retired), is a prominent military and civilian sustainability leader instrumental in bringing B20 to naval bases. In his 32 years of Navy service he was known as a top expert in base operations and facility support with an emphasis on sustainability. His efforts included everything from renewable energy, including biodiesel, to responsible water use, photovoltaic technology, and conservation. Within three years, his team reduced energy consumption by nearly 42 percent, diverted 75 percent of Navy waste from landfills and reduced water consumption by more than one billion gallons, saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. President Bush awarded Hering a 2005 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management. Today he serves as executive director of the California Center for Sustainable Energy.

Along with the annual “Eye on Biodiesel” awards, NBB also honored Don Borgman of John Deere, and Mike Haas of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service with Lifetime Achievement awards for their service to the biodiesel industry. Later this year Borgman will be retiring from John Deere after more than 40 years of service. Most recently he served as the Director of Agricultural Industry Relations for John Deere’s North American operations. He has been involved in the promotion and expansion of demand for agricultural products since the late 1970s, and his work was instrumental in John Deere’s acceptance, support, and promotion of biodiesel. Haas has been a Lead Scientist and Research Biochemist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service since 1981. He has been a huge supporter of the biodiesel industry and currently leads a project investigating the production and quality enhancement of biodiesel, and the chemical modification of lipids to produce bio-based petroleum replacements. Haas and the USDA have been a key supporter of the annual Biodiesel Technical Workshop and currently provides leadership for the NBB’s Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program.

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