From Local Product to Global Commodity

This study was conducted with the aim of outlining a comprehensive picture of the coverage of various sustainability schemes or criteria sets related to the entire value-added chain of biomass and bioenergy and comparing them accordingly. Eight sustainability schemes and one draft directive were chosen for the qualitative comparison: two existing sets of criteria for agricultural biomass (RSPO, RTRS); two existing forest certification schemes (FSC, Finnish FFCS); two newly developed initiatives for biomass for energy raw material (WWF Meta standard, CSB); and three recent proposals for bio energy and biofuels (SSB, Finnish SLF, EU draft directive).The analysis demonstrated that five schemes (RSPO, RTRS, FSC, CSB and SSB) are created for global application and commonly cover all sustainability issues plus the legal framework around it. The WWF Meta standard does also cover all issues, although the economic items are underemphasised. The two Finnish sets (FFCS and SLF) are mainly locally or regionally applied and focus more on environmental issues, as other issues are covered by existing legislation. The EU draft directive focuses mainly on the governance of energy from renewable sources at the European level, emphasising environmental issues. This paper resulted in the proposal of a tri-dimensional approach (sustainability issues; technical biomass conversion routes; physical trade flows) when comparing various biomass and bioenergy schemes and for further development and empirical testing of overall European biomass and bioenergy sustainability
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