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Proforest supports IUCN/Shell biofuel workshop

ProForest supports IUCN/Shell workshop 'Towards Harmonization for Biofuel Sustainability Standards'

As part of an ongoing collaboration to promote the implementation of more sustainable biofuels, IUCN and Shell, working with ProForest and The Packard Foundation convened stakeholders of a number of certification schemes, including secretariat and Board members as well as industry and civil society representatives. The workshop was held to discuss areas of synergy and opportunities for harmonization of standards and certification schemes that may apply to biofuels.

The workshop, held in London on the 17th and 18th February, built upon the outcomes of previous workshops on the subject hosted by ISEAL and the Inter-American Development Bank. Participants focused their discussions on a selection of seven priority issues linked to content (GHG calculation methodologies, environmental impact assessments, agricultural expansion/land conversion, indirect land use change) and processes (capacity building for producers, benchmarking and mutual recognition, and chain of custody tools).

Certification is a key tool for ensuring the sustainability of biofuel value chains. Given the diversity of potential feedstock for biofuels, multiple sustainability schemes can apply to a biofuels supply chain. As these schemes were developed separately and with diverse objectives, there are differences in how each address common issues – creating confusion and barriers for biofuel producers that are voluntarily trying to implement them.

A number of next steps were identified that will support cost effectiveness, reduce complexity and help facilitate wider adoption of certified products throughout the biofuels value chain. A report of the workshop will be available soon.

For more information on this event, and the IUCN/Shell programme of work on biofuel sustainability please contact Rosie Rafferty ( or Andrea Athanas (

Published 24.02.2010