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In 2021, ISCC has certified agricultural land equivalent to 16 million football fields

In 2021, ISCC has certified agricultural land equivalent to 16 million football fields

The European Green Deal and the Fit for 55 package laid a solid foundation for many ambitious climate-friendly initiatives to be translated into domestic law. Their goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the European Union (EU) to zero by 2050.

ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) certification schemes serve as support for companies to meet established sustainability requirements.

In 2021, ISCC has certified agricultural land equivalent to 16 million football fields

ISCC certification applies to all types of agricultural and forestry raw materials, biogenic waste and residues, biogas, raw materials of non-biological origin such as liquid and solid waste streams, energy from waste processing, energy obtained from other renewable sources except biomass.

ISCC offers several certification schemes to meet different market demands. The European Commission has recognized the ISCC EU scheme to demonstrate compliance with the legal requirements set out in RED II, the Renewable Energy Directive II and RTFO (The renewable transport fuel obligation) obligations in the UK. Its scope is the European biofuel market. ISCC PLUS is a voluntary certification scheme for RED II non-regulated markets, which are biofuel markets outside the EU, as well as bioenergy, food, feed, chemicals markets. For example, ISCC PLUS is recognized for meeting sustainability requirements in the Japanese biofuel market.

The ISCC sustainability requirements for farms and plantations are laid down in the form of six principles. ISCC Principle 1 covers the legal requirements of the RED II, whereas Principles 2 – 6 go beyond the legal requirements as they cover further environmental, social and economic requirements.

  • Principle 1
    Protection of land with high biodiversity value or high carbon Stock
  • Principle 2
    Environmentally responsible production to protect soil, water and air
  • Principle 3
    Safe working conditions
  • Principle 4
    Compliance with human and labour rights and responsible community relations
  • Principle 5
    Compliance with land rights, laws and international treaties
  • Principle 6
    Good management practices and continuous improvement

In the past two years, several important milestones were reached in the sustainability sector, including:

  • Over 5,000 ISCC certificates have been issued in 2021. In particular, the number of ISCC PLUS certificates in the chemical industry, as well as in the food and fodder industry, increased significantly.
  • During the process of recognition of ISCC-certified bioenergy under RED II, the ISCC EU system documents were revised, including additional requirements and also stricter criteria to strengthen the system.
  • ISCC’s CORSIA certification system has been recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), validating CORSIA’s compliance with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) certification.
  • Even before the challenging restrictions of Covid-19, ISCC had already started the digitization process, which allowed for remote certification audits using ISCC’s Automated Procedure System (APS).

In 2021, ISCC has certified 12.1 million hectares of agricultural land, equivalent to 16 million football fields. ISCC’s most certified crops are rapeseed/canola (6.79 million ha). The largest amount of ISCC-certified rapeseed/canola is recorded in Australia (3.64 million ha), followed by Ukraine (0.54 million ha) and Romania (0.49 million ha).

In 2021, ISCC has certified 15 million tons of materials classified as waste or residues. ISCC’s most certified waste and residue is used cooking oil (3.47 million t), followed by manure (2.49 million t). The largest amount of used cooking oil was in China (1.17 million tonnes), followed by the United Kingdom (0.30 million tonnes) and Malaysia (0.29 million tonnes).

Contact BM Certification to find out how you can contribute to the credibility of your products in the market by ensuring compliance with ISCC requirements.


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Agnese Leite
Carbon certification program manager