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Table 3 Overview of sustainability criteria and other requirements in the Danish Industry agreement to ensure sustainable biomass (wood pellets and wood chips) (IA). The content of this table is condensed and adapted from the agreement published by Danish Energy and Danish District Heating Association [18]

From: Implementation of voluntary verification of sustainability for solid biomass—a case study from Denmark

Criteria Indicator
Sustainability criteria
1. Legality Logging only from legally designated areas
Payment of relevant taxes and duties
Logging in compliance with forest and environmental legislation
Indigenous people’s rights must be respected
Compliance with customs and trade legislation
2. Protection of forest's ecosystems Forest management must ensure the preservation of the forest ecosystem
Assessment of the environmental impact related to logging
Impact assessment of forest management on ecosystems and biodiversity
Scheme to minimise negative impact on ecosystems and biodiversity
3. Forest productivity and carbon cycle Management of forest ecosystems must ensure the least negative impact on forest productivity and carbon sequestration
4. Healthy and well-functioning forests Forest management must ensure healthy and well-functioning forests
5. Protection of biodiversity, sensitive areas and areas worthy of preservation Forest management must ensure protection of biodiversity, sensitive areas and areas worthy of preservation
Identification of particularly vulnerable areas
Protection of designated areas, e.g. soil erosion, high biodiversity, water resources
6. Social and work-related rights Forest management must protect social and work-related rights
Identification, documentation respect of original inhabitants’ rights
Establishing complaint mechanisms
Employees have the right to organise
Child labour, forced labour and discrimination is not allowed
7. CO2 emission limits for biomass value chains Only biomass with specific value chain emissions is allowed
Biograce II is chosen as calculation method
8. Additional requirements: carbon cycle, forest carbon stock, indirect land-use change and indirect wood-use change The industry aims to not use biomass that leads to deforestation, iLUC, iWUC nor that negatively impacts quality and quantity of forest resources in the medium and long term
This criterion is not yet implemented and is not yet documented. If standardised methods are developed, the industry must accept these methods before incorporation into IA
Other requirements
Compliance and publication Compliance with IA is documented by yearly third-party audited, public reports that are published on company websites
There are no legal consequences for non-compliance
Documentation Compliance with criteria 1-6 can be documented through the certification system developed by Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP)
Certification by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is also recognised
Other appropriate forms other than certification are also recognised (“Alternative documentation”)—must be third-party audited
Timeframe Energy companies shall document on an annual basis the following proportion (by weight) of wood pellets and wood chips are in compliance with the IA: 2016 (from August 1st): 40 %, 2017: 60 %, 2018: 75 %, 2019: Fully phased in, but 10 % can be in compliance with only criterion 1 (legality).
Plants included All CHP and heating plants in Denmark generating heat and/or power from wood chips and wood pellets are covered by the IA
Only plants > 20 MWth are subject to documentation requirements
Types of biomass IA applies only to wood pellets and wood chips from forest areas