Sourcing Sustainable Biomass
Evidencing that our sourcing delivers beneficial climate outcomes, promotes sustainable management, protects the environment, and supports people and communities.
At Drax we use wood pellets sourced from sustainably managed working forests and residues from forest industries to generate low-carbon, renewable electricity. Our forest positive approach to sourcing sustainable biomass is made up of the following elements:
- Sourcing sustainable biomass
- Catchment Area Analysis
- Healthy Forest Landscapes
- Independent Advisory Board
We ensure our biomass is sustainable and compliant with relevant legislation through Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) certification, alongside proactive supplier engagement, other third-party certification schemes and our own audits and checks. Our Group Sustainability Policy outlines our requirements, and it is evidenced and included in biomass supplier contracts.
We adhere to the UK Government criteria for sustainable biomass, the Forest Europe Sustainable Forest Management criteria and we comply with the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR).
- Group sustainability policy – in place since 2008, our policy covers our core sustainability values on protecting biodiversity, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and contribution to social values.
- UK Government criteria for sustainable biomass – we report monthly on compliance with the UK sustainability criteria, including life cycle emissions limits and the land criteria. This covers the requirements of the Forest Europe Sustainable Forest Management criteria, including: maintaining forest area and carbon stocks; encouraging the production of forest products; maintaining the health and vitality of the forest ecosystem; conserving and enhancing biological diversity; contributing socio-economic benefits; and ensuring that soil and water protection is maintained.
- European Union Timber Regulation – in place since 2013, the EUTR requires purchasers of wood products to have coherent due diligence processes in place to minimise the risk of trading illegally logged timber.
Further to our Group Sustainability Policy, our Responsible Sourcing Policy for Biomass outlines our forest biomass sustainability commitments. The policy strengthens our approach in line with recommendations made by a report commissioned by the European Climate Foundation. This is to provide further assurance that the sustainable biomass we source makes a net positive contribution to climate change, protects and enhances biodiversity and has a positive social impact on local communities.
- We will reduce carbon dioxide emissions
- We will protect the natural environment
- We will support people and communities
- We will invest in research, outreach and intervention
Supplier compliance with our policies and appropriate legislation is evidenced by Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) certification, a certification system for woody biomass, or by our own checks and third-party audits. We require suppliers to progress from our own checks and third-party audits commissioned by Drax, towards SBP certification. In 2020, 99% of the woody biomass we sourced was SBP compliant.