Refinery turns cooking oil into education funds 

Paul Lacourciere, the CEO of the Oakland-based Sirona Fuels biodiesel refinery, also manages the company’s nonprofit education foundation in The City. The Sirona Cares Foundation recently launched an initiative that will dedicate 20 percent of the sales price of donated cooking oil to education programs in the area.

How did a biodiesel refinery become involved in a nonprofit education program? Sirona Fuels was set up from the very beginning with the mandate to make a difference in our community. We really focused on the energy industry, but at the same time, the commitment was always there to make inroads in other areas, and Sirona Cares was a perfect outlet for that mentality.

What will the funding support? It will focus entirely on local schools here in the Bay Area. The grant is available to any school or organization that supports educational programs for children.

How much funding is available? We don’t have exact forecasts, but we estimate being able to raise $4 million for this program.

Are there plans for future expansion of the Sirona Cares program? Absolutely. We view the Sirona Cares Foundation as a standalone endeavor, and we want to see this program continue to grow and positively affect as many children as possible.

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Will Reisman

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