Although many believe that using biodiesel in lieu of its petroleum counterpart is “sustainable”, not all biofuels are created equal. It is necessary to identify the total environmental impact of producing and using biodiesel, but the market has been lacking a method of analyzing and identifying impacts of biofuels – until now. Recognizing the need for an objective certification system to measure the overall sustainability of the production, distribution and end use of biodiesel, the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (SBA) has partnered with GreenCircle to create the Sustainable Biodiesel Certification system. The main goal of this certification is to validate and differentiate those organizations which produce, distribute or use biodiesel sustainably. In addition to this, the certification is designed so companies can strive for continuous improvement within their biodiesel production, distribution and end-use practices.
The SBA’s Baseline Practices for Sustainability have been adapted into checklists that evaluate and score producers, distributors and end users of biodiesel. GreenCircle will provide third-party audit support to ensure the accurate completion of these checklists. These audits investigate all elements of sustainability criteria including environmental, social and economic impacts of biodiesel use.
Distributors and End Users are scored in three categories:
- Quality of Biodiesel
- Type of Biodiesel Blends
Biodiesel Producers are assessed against several categories including:
- Air Emissions
- Water Resources
- Waste Handling
- Plant Energy
- Sustainable Sourcing
- Community Benefit
- Plant/Worker Safety
- Quality of Biodiesel
The points received in these categories are totaled and certification is achieved based on the
Steps in Certification:
- Become a Member of the SBA – Membership includes numerous benefits, such as a listing on the SBA website, access to “members only” material, access to the SBA’s established network in the biodiesel industry, and much more!
- Complete the Self-Evaluation Checklist to estimate your “score”
- Third-party verification of your score by GreenCircle, which includes a rigorous review of data, documentation and a facility site visit
- Upon validation from GreenCircle, you will obtain a certificate from the SBA that indicates your score level of Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. You will also receive SBA marks to use in all of your marketing material as well as numerous marketing opportunities through the SBA’s network
Please Note: No soliciting or marketing of the SBA certification is allowed without achieving GreenCircle certification.
Benefits of Sustainable Biodiesel Certification
- Recognition: With the introduction of the SBA certification, producers, distributors and end users of biodiesel have the opportunity to demonstrate their green practices and earn international recognition for making a conscious effort to benefit the environment.
- Biodiesel Growth: To reduce petroleum use and carbon emissions, the energy industry and government policies are promoting the use of biodiesel and other non-petroleum biofuels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that by 2035 biofuel usage will have grown by approximately 250 percent. Sustainable Biodiesel Certification provides competitive advantage in an emerging market and can establish companies as industry leaders.
- Renewable Fuel Volume Mandate: Under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program was established to ensure that U.S. transportation fuel contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel. In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) increased the scope of the RFS program to include diesel fuel and increased the renewable fuel requirement from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons in 2022. RFS2 also required life cycle data to demonstrate that the renewable fuel emits fewer greenhouse gases than the petroleum based fuel it replaces. Sustainable Biodiesel Certification assesses the impacts of biodiesel use on communities and the environment while still complying with RFS2 standards.
- Customer Retention: 77% of consumers said they would stop buying a company’s products if they felt misled by an environmental claim.¹ Today’s educated consumers have become much more selective, and third-party certification can be vital in attracting and retaining customers and market share.
- Federal Trade Commission: The FTC has released its updated 2012 Green Guides to prevent unfair or deceptive environmental claims in the marketplace. These Green Guides have established stricter requirements and enforcement guidelines for environmental claims. GreenCircle certification is consistent with the new Green Guides and obtaining certification will provide validity to your claim.
- 2012 Cone GreenGap Trend Tracker
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