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Introduction of a sustainable biomass verification scheme

The purpose of the World Bioenergy Association (WBA) is to promote the increasing utilization of bioenergy globally in an efficient, sustainable, economically and environmentally appropriate way.

Rules for guiding stakeholders to establish an acceptable management for collecting biomass for energy are necessary. That is why WBA presented a collection of sustainability criteria globally at COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010.

Now WBA introduces the next step in the process: The SUSTAINABLE BIOMASS VERIFICATION SCHEME. The verification scheme should be used as a manual for accrediting the sustainability of Biomass for Energy. The manual will guide how to check that the criteria are met and the producer of biomass for energy will get the WBA sustainability logo.

The role of verification processes in this report is to participate in creation of a global market for bioenergy and biofuels. The minimum universal criteria were developed after comparing the standards, principles, criteria and indicators developed by the existing and emerging voluntary standards around the world.

Instead of creating a totally new verification scheme, we comply with existing or upcoming standards. By doing this, the meta-standard scheme is build on existing experiences in better management practices and roundtables, with international consultation.

The goal of the following verification scheme for biomass is to secure the sustainability criteria for biomass, the supply of biomass in a sustainable way with clearly defined and consistent quality for specific purposes. So, the scheme requires at least:
  • The traceability of the resources that are produced and managed in a sustainable way
  • The evaluation of the energy consumptions
  • The evaluation of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Biomass quality specifications
To guarantee a consistent scheme the processes that are necessary for the production and logistics of biomass will be verified in the scope of this scheme – as a result, aspects of product verification will be combined with those of system verification.

The other major issue is that sustainable production of biomass must be shown to not reduce production or availability of food, fibre and water, or of living space and living standards for rural and indigenous people. Clearly, for the sustainable and equitable production and transport of biomass and biofuels to be done on an extensive scale there must be effective internationally recognized monitoring and verification schemes in place.

For more information please download the SBVS Scheme here.