The Biomass Suppliers List was released on the 30th April 2014 to enable producers and traders to be listed for free to help reduce the legislative burden of non-domestic and domestic installations having to comply with the sustainability criteria. Companies listed on the Biomass Suppliers List will provide confirmation of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the life cycle of the biomass and that this value this has been verified by and independent party.
The first phase is only greenhouse gas verification, a second phase in spring of 2015 will include the land criteria. Registration is per fuel and per depot. The functionality of this Biomass Suppliers List may not suit traders that do not have established trading chains. Clarity is needed on how this may relate to trading where physical ownership by a trader is only for limited period of time and instances where the buyer make take ownership at port side.
Some teething problems are no doubt expected, one such point that needs further investigation is the apparent necessity for a trader to ensure the producer is registered first to enable the trader to link their registration application to a registered producer.
In relation to the second phase; the verification of the land criteria being met, this must involve on-the-ground verification in instances of unspecified risk. At present, the verification is a desk-top exercise, conducted by Gemserv and Woodfuel in relation to the lifecycle emissions of GHG only. Desk-top assessment simply does not provide assurances where the country of origin, region, sub-region or forest management unit (FMU) may need detailed on-the-ground verification. The latter especially applies to countries of origin where transparency and governance is poor.