Biofuel Sustainability Tag
The "Biofuel Sustainability Tag" is a potential method for providing market transparency of sustainability criteria of biofuels. The basic idea is to measure all relevant impacts of biofuel production and attach that information to the product. This would allow everyone in the supply chain to choose between purchasing more or less sustainable biofuel, whereas currently the market is blind to the ecological or social footprint of the fuel. It would also allow the state or federal government to control minimum standards, that can be set for prodution or import of biofuel. At the same time, it allows responsible enterpreneurs/investors to set their own standards even tighter (e.g. to reduce risk).
Implementation in the USA:
The implication of the above concept seems especially appealing for the United States as there is already a system in place to which it could be added: Since 1 September 2007 the "Renewable Fuel Standard" is in effect in the US. (). This includes the Renewable Fuels Obligation (RFO) and as part of this the obligation for the producers to assign so called Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) to their produced/imported biofuel. This is a 38-digit number into which several types of information are coded. In case of a so called assigned RIN, the fuel lot or batch is tracable through the supply chain. For a short description of the RIN see page 5 of this US EPA document (PDF file). Adding some more digits to the (assigned) RIN number, in order to include a set of sustainability indicators as a way to implement the Biofuel Sustainability Tag in form of an extended RIN "X-RIN".
|Existing certification systems: |
Potential certification systems: Biofuel Sustainability Tag
|Sustainability standards | Sustainability initiatives (Better Sugarcane Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council, Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)|
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