A large proportion of the solid biomass used by RWE npower and Essent are wood pellets. These are procured by RWE Supply & Trading from international sources – around 2.4 million metric t in 2012. 98 % of these imported wood pellets were certified in accordance with the Green Gold Label or comparable standards during the reporting year. The remaining amount was local biomass sourced from the Netherlands.
RWE essentially uses the Green Gold Label established by Essent in 2002, a track and trace system and a certification programme for assurance of sustainable biomass sourcing. The Label is now registered through the independent Green Gold Label Foundation. The Foundation is also responsible for the criteria used and for communication with the stakeholders. To this end, the foundation was established in the year under review, a new multi-stakeholder governance structure was developed and contact was made with potential new members for the Advisory Board. In 2012, important US producer Enviva agreed to join as a representative of sector. Additional representatives, e.g. environmental protection groups, are likely to be welcomed as new members in 2013.
The sustainability criteria of the Green Gold Label are in complete conformity with EU biomass sustainability criteria and in May 2012 the Foundation applied for EU recognition of the label as an approved sustainability system under the Renewal Energy Directive. A similar recognition was granted to Green Gold Label by the UK’s energy regulator Ofgem at the beginning of 2012.
More on the Green Gold Label
As a member of the Initiative of Wood Pellet Buyers (IWPB), RWE is also working on achieving standardisation in trade relations for the global wood pellet trade. Integration of sustainability requirements represents a special challenge. The member companies of the initiative include a substantial proportion of the European sales market for imported wood pellets. The aim of the initiative is to create prerequisites for a liquid global market for sustainable biomass. The initiative has developed standard solutions for contracts, technical specifications and sustainability criteria. The Green Gold Label and the certification systems used by other power companies will be integrated and adapted to the IWPB initiative during the course of 2013. The aim is to have an independent certification system with multi-stakeholder governance and supported by all the major European wood pellet users ready for use at the end of 2014.