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Promoting sustainable biomass production in the Baltics and Russia

The collaboration documents regulatory compliance and promotes sustainable biomass supply chains that contribute to a low-carbon economy.

Factual outline

Collaboration for sustainable solutions: DONG Energy is collaborating with peer companies, suppliers, and independent auditor NEPCon through an industry-led partnership initiative to promote the development of resilient and sustainable woody biomass supply chains.

Aim: To document regulatory compliance and promote sustainable biomass supply chains that contribute to a low-carbon economy.

Approach: Proactive engagement of biomass suppliers to achieve certification through industry collaborative initiatives.

Location: The Baltics and Russia

Background: The Baltics and Russia are increasing biomass production capacities and are lead exporters of woody biomass to
Denmark.

Time Frame: 2013 -

Why this case

This case demonstrates the importance of co-creating solutions to systemic sustainability challenges. DONG Energy has had to overcome the challenge of a lack of common European regulation for sustainable, solid biomass production and to reach key suppliers. The challenge required a collaborative approach to move forward.

Initiatve: Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP)

In 2013, DONG Energy and other energy companies came together to address the lack of common European regulation and co-developed, based on all existing national requirements and available experience, sustainability criteria for biomass sourcing, the Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP).

Since 2015, SBP has provided a certification system that allows biomass operating companies to meet the increasing demand for green energy while demonstrating compliance with regulatory and sustainability requirements associated with the production of woody biomass.

Promoting sustainable biomass production

The growth and impact of the SBP initiative demonstrate a clear desire among companies and stakeholders for coordinated action to drive positive change on the ground.

The introduction of the SBP has promoted sustainable approaches to forest management and biomass production. The demand for SBP-certified biomass has resulted in the mapping of key biodiversity areas in Latvia and multi-stakeholder country assessments in the Baltics, Denmark, and Portugal. It is also driving more producers to achieve FSC certification,” says Peter Kofod Kristensen, Lead Sustainability Advisor, Bioenergy and Thermal Power.

Results and lessons

The expansion of SBP into key biomass production areas was only possible through the collaborative efforts from across the biomass value chain. For example, CM Biomass, a large Danish commodity trader, invested extensive time and effort in helping many biomass producers understand the importance of sustainable

production and achieve SBP certification.

Since 2006, DONG Energy has reduced its coal consumption by 73% by reducing capacity and converting its central power plants into multi-fuel plants and replacing coal with sustainable solid biomass. This includes sustainable wood pellets and chips made mainly from residue products such as twigs, branches, and sawdust. Since 2006, DONG Energy has achieved a 52% reduction in its CO2 emissions from its total power and heat generation and aims to phase out coal completely and achieve CO2 reductions of 96% by 2023.

DONG Energy has introduced the SBP to its suppliers. Which entails:

  • An assessment of suppliers’ compliance with applicable sustainability requirements
  • An annual surveillance audit by NEPCon to ensure that suppliers continue to comply with all sustainability requirements
  • Recertification every five years based on a new assessment.
 
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