Danish forest entrepreneurs have been working on a risk-based approach to biomass since 2016, through an approval scheme developed in collaboration between their trade association, energy producers and a certification agency.
In 2014, a voluntary industry agreement was signed between Dansk Energi and Dansk Fjernvarme (Danish District Heating) to ensure the sustainability of biomass (chips and pellets) used for energy production. Both for electricity and heat are concerned. The agreement will be implemented in the period 2016-2019. The objectives were as follows: 60% of biomass must be sustainable by 2017 and 100% by 2019.
The agreement helps to ensure that the use of solid biomass for energy production in Denmark complies with the environmental, working environment and climate sustainability framework. It is the energy producers responsibility that the biomass is sustainable, and it has to be controlled by a third part.
Responsibility and documentation
The purpose of the voluntary Danish industry agreement is to encourage industry members to conduct a certain behavior, namely to purchase sustainable biomass, but also to allow the members the freedom to choose which means to meet the sustainability requirements of the agreement.
The ability to choose which means to document biomass sustainability means that in addition to the known certifications FSC, PEFC and SBP, you can use what is called alternative documentation in the agreement. All energy producers accept all four documentation methods, and allow biomass suppliers to choose which method fits their business.
Alternative documentation at the Danish forest contractors
FSC and PEFC are both limited-scale forest certification in Denmark, and most of the Danish forests are not certified.
Therefore, sustainability must be ensured through Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP) certification or Alternative Documentation. Both methods are based on a risk-based approach to biomass, which means assessing the area where biomass should be harvested, and then assessing whether the biomass can be produced sustainably on this area.
Danske Maskinstationer og Entreprenører (DM & E), the Danish branch organization for forest contractors, quickly chose to use Alternative Documentation. One of the major advantages of the alternative documentation, compared to SBP, is that it can adapt to Danish situation (ownership, protection of forests, sustainable management…) and the way in which business is conducted in this country. In this context, DM & E has developed an approval scheme, “Approved Biomass Supplier”. It is a management and due diligence system that can easily be implemented by the small and medium-sized forest contractors. The systems are linked to a newly developed map portal that collects all public registrations, including nature conservation areas, cultural heritage sites and ownership.
The members of DM & E who wish to become “Approved Biomass Producer” must have a course in the use of the management system and map portal. Afterwards they get support to introduce the new procedures into their business. Finally, they are controlled by the independent third party NEPCon. In case of a successful control and they are ready to deliver sustainable biomass.
More information : https://www.dmoge.dk/skov/godkendt-biomasseproducent