CN and Progress Rail Advance Sustainability Efforts with a Renewable Fuels Partnership

Renewable fuel blends present immediate opportunity to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions

November 3, 2021

MONTREAL – Canadian National Railway Company (CN) and Progress Rail, A Caterpillar Company are partnering with Renewable Energy Group (REG) to test high-level renewable fuel blends including both biodiesel and renewable diesel in support of the companies’ sustainability goals. Trials and qualifications of up to 100% bio-based diesel fuel are important steps in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from CN’s existing locomotive fleet, while alternative propulsion locomotive technologies are being developed.

This program will allow CN and Progress Rail to better understand the long-term durability and operational impacts of renewable fuels on locomotives, especially in cold weather and plan needed modifications to fully leverage their usage over the next decade.

Rail has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of transportation services, as shipping heavy freight by rail can reduce carbon emissions by up to 75% when compared to trucks. Looking to 2030 and beyond, reducing fossil carbon emissions associated with rail transportation will continue to require innovative fuel-efficient technologies, the greater use of cleaner sustainable fuels, and designing innovative low emission supply chain solutions through investments and collaboration. 

“CN is committed to adapting our business to changing climate conditions. The successful testing and procurement of renewable fuels is part of a portfolio of initiatives to meet our 2030 science-based target. Achieving our target is dependent, in part, on the continued successful development of innovative technologies and the availability of sufficient volumes of cost competitive sustainable renewable fuels in the years to come. The extent of our ability to fully deploy and implement new technologies will require collaboration between locomotive manufacturers and fuel producers.”

-        JJ Ruest, Chief Executive Officer at CN

“As part of our commitment to make a meaningful, positive impact on the environment, Progress Rail provides a wide range of products and services that offer fuel flexibility. We are proud to partner with CN to help support their sustainability goals, as well as our own.”

-       Marty Haycraft, President & CEO of Progress Rail

“Bio-based diesel is delivering fossil carbon reductions, and we are proud to work with CN and Progress Rail on this effort that highlights the potential of our fuels as a sustainable solution for the rail industry. Sustainability is a driving force in today’s market, and REG is delivering by converting renewable resources into cleaner fuels, providing sustainable solutions to our forward-leaning customers like CN and Progress Rail.”

Cynthia ‘CJ’ Warner, REG President & CEO


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About CN

CN is a world-class transportation leader and trade-enabler. Essential to the economy, to the customers, and to the communities it serves, CN safely transports more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year. As the only railroad connecting Canada’s Eastern and Western coasts with the U.S. South through a 19,500-mile rail network, CN, and its affiliates have been contributing to community prosperity and sustainable trade since 1919. CN is committed to programs supporting social responsibility and environmental stewardship.


About Progress Rail

Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, is one of the largest integrated and diversified providers of rolling stock and infrastructure solutions and technologies for global rail customers. Progress Rail delivers advanced EMD locomotives and engines, railcars, trackwork, fasteners, signaling, rail welding and Kershaw Maintenance-of-Way equipment, along with dedicated locomotive and freight car repair services, aftermarket parts support and recycling operations. The company also offers advanced rail technologies, including data acquisition and asset protection equipment. Progress Rail’s deep industry expertise, together with the support of Caterpillar, ensures a commitment to quality through innovative solutions for the rail industry. Progress Rail has a network of nearly 200 locations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Australia, China, India, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit and follow @Progress_Rail on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.


About Renewable Energy Group

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. is leading the energy and transportation industries’ transition to sustainability by transforming renewable resources into high-quality, sustainable fuels. Renewable Energy Group is an international producer of sustainable fuels that significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions to immediately reduce carbon impact. Renewable Energy Group utilizes a global integrated procurement, distribution and logistics network to operate 12 biorefineries in the U.S. and Europe. In 2020, Renewable Energy Group produced 519 million gallons of cleaner fuel delivering 4.2 million metric tons of carbon reduction. Renewable Energy Group is meeting the growing global demand for lower-carbon fuels and leading the way to a more sustainable future.




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