The use of the PEFC framework to transfer Green House Gas (GHG) emission related data along the supply chain has been the subject of increasing interest among the bioenergy sector and other industry sectors processing forest-based materials in recent years.
Key to this rising interest is the growing demand from governmental and private customers, particularly in Europe, that biomass used for energy production is from sustainable sources, such as PEFC-certified forests, and is delivered with credible and transparent information on GHG emissions linked to its production, processing and transport.
In response, PEFC International has established a Task Force for the development of a voluntary mechanism for the transfer of GHG emission related data along the PEFC-certified supply chain. The objective of this newly established Task Force is to develop a set of technical requirements, which can be used as a strictly voluntary tool for data transfer.
“It is important that the Task Force develops a voluntary tool which is user-friendly, yet flexible enough to provide all actors along the supply chain with the possibility to pass on emission data,” said Dr. Michael Berger, PEFC International’s Head of Technical Unit.
“The biggest challenge will be ensuring that this data can then be used as a basis for the calculation of emissions in a way that it meets the requirements of different users of biomass related emission data, with their diverse sets of data elements, definitions, default values and calculation rules,” Dr. Berger concluded.
The PEFC Task Force ‘Data Transfer Requirements’, which is now taking the lead in the development of this data transfer mechanism, was established as a sub-group by the PEFC Chain of Custody and Labeling Working Group, a standing PEFC working group consisting of stakeholders representing forest industry, forest owners, customers, consumers and PEFC members. The Task Force itself consists of several experts in the field of forest certification, bioenergy and GHG emission calculations.
The development of this set of technical requirements is following PEFC International’s “Technical documents development procedures”, outlined in PEFC GD 1003:2009, which includes a public consultation on an enquiry draft version. It is the objective of the Task Force to proceed with the development so that it can be approved by the PEFC General Assembly in 2016.