The Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) has awarded Finland-based UPM Biofuels the world’s first low indirect land use change (ILUC) certification for its crude tall oil, which is a wood-based residue of pulp production, and the Brassica carinata oil crop. Both raw materials are used as feedstocks in the production of advanced biofuels.
According to RSP, UPM’s biofuels have not only achieved the requirements for rigorous standards of sustainability but they have minimal or zero risk of indirect emissions and impacts – such as deforestation or increased food prices – elsewhere in the world.
“With reduced greenhouse gas emissions which meet the highest standards of sustainability and transparency, as well as demonstrating the lowest impacts on nature and food production, these are the biofuels of the future!” says Rolf Hogan, Executive Director of RSB, in a statement.
Recognition for innovative biofuel solutions
Crude tall oil is used for UPM’s BioVerno renewable fuels production at the Lappeenranta Biorefinery in Finland, whereas Brassica carinata cultivation has been developed by UPM Biofuels in Uruguay.
The Brassica carinata crop produces non-edible oil that is suitable as biofuels feedstock and protein for animal feed. According to UPM Biofuels, the sequential cropping concept used in Uruguay enables contract farmers to take agricultural land into use outside the main cultivation period without compromising existing food production. Biofuels produced from Brassica Carinata oil reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 70% compared to fossil fuels.
“We are honoured to receive this first of a kind low ILUC recognition for our feeds. It gives further third-party proof of UPM Biofuels’ commitment to produce top of the line sustainable biofuels and biomaterials for our customers,” says Maiju Helin, Head of Sustainability and Market Development, UPM Biofuels.
Finland is a hub for wood-based innovations
RSP is one of the European Commission's approved voluntary schemes used to show compliance with the EU Renewable Energy Directive's sustainability criteria. RSB is also the first standard to utilise a low ILUC-risk module for biomass certification. According to UPM Biofuels, its production has been evaluated against this low ILUC requirement, EU RED criteria and the 12 RSB principles, which have been approved by their many stakeholders, including NGOs and UN agencies.
“RSP’s certification is also a great acknowledgement that underlines Finland position as a leading hub for wood-based innovations. We should keep in mind that everything currently made of oil can be made out of wood tomorrow. In Finland, the implementation of this vision is already well underway,” says Jari Tielinen, Project Manager, Business Finland, Invest in Finland unit.
Project Manager, Business Finland, Invest in Finland
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