Asked by Henk Wanningen,
Senior Head Product Group Biomass & Climate, State Forest Management.
How is Nuon contributing towards the certification of biomass to guarantee its sustainability?
Biomass is an important part of the fuel mix Nuon uses to produce energy. More biomass is being used than ever before, but only when this is truly sustainable and does not originate from scarce agricultural land or primeval forests. Nuon uses off cuts from state managed forests that are FSC certified. This includes wood that cannot be processed into any other product.
Commitment to certification
Certifying biomass is an important means of guaranteeing sustainability in a relatively new market. Nuon is a strong supporter of a common set of sustainability criteria; at least on a European level, if not worldwide. Energy companies are working together to formulate international criteria. The criteria should make it possible to identify the quality of the biomass and make comparison easier. Certified biomass should guarantee clarity about the origin and quality.
Towards international criteria
Besides contributing to certification, we also participate in developing a global standard for sustainable bio-energy. We are participating in an initiative by the users of wood pellets (pellets made of pressed wood waste) to standardize biomass contracts and the sustainability criteria.
There are currently no international sustainability criteria for biomass. Until this changes, we will continue to use various alternative measures to guarantee the sustainability of our biomass. Our preference is for reliable certifying systems, like FSC, which guarantees well-managed forests.