On 9 November 2022, we held our 11th ISCC Regional Stakeholder Meeting North America. It was our second hybrid meeting with 35 onsite participants in Chicago and more than 100 online participants. Many thanks to Steffen Mueller, ISCC Board Member, for the organisation on site and for providing the premises of the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) for the event! After a shared breakfast and coffee for all attendees on site, the virtual meeting began with an update on ISCC by Managing Director Norbert Schmitz, where he among other things highlighted the huge increase in ISCC certificates during the last years in North America and globally.
The main topics of the conference were sustainable transport and the circular economy and bioeconomy. The session kicked off with the presentation of a case study on a corn ethanol processing plant presented by SCS Global Services and the certification options under ISCC EU, PLUS and CORSIA. Rob Vierhout, ISCC Board Member, updated us on the European Commission’s plans to promote renewable energy in the transport sector, the state of affairs, the timeline and the growth potential of the different feedstock categories, with RFNBOs playing a major role. The Canadian Oilseed Processors Association talked about the growing demand for low carbon fuels in North America and the associated opportunities for the canola value chain, keeping in mind that the food and feed market will remain the foundation of canola demand. ISCC highlighted the prospects for sustainable aviation fuel certification: 32 ISCC CORSIA certificates have been issued and the stakeholders agreed that there is more to come. The Energy Resources Center, represented by ISCC Board Member Steffen Mueller, took an in-depth look at ILUC calculations for SAF, amortization periods, carbon accounting models and the potential of coal basins in the US to provide low ILUC feedstocks. A second presentation discussed the National Academies of Sciences LCA report and its implications for verification. The American Lung Association presented ways to achieve its goal of a world without lung disease by incentivizing sustainable and certified ethanol and biodiesel for transportation and bio-based products for vehicles, buildings, and industrial operations.
This brought us to the second major topic of the day, the circular economy and bioeconomy. ISCC Director Jan Henke gave an update on ISCC PLUS certification, emphasizing how strongly the system is driven by corporate voluntary action, with major American companies being ISCC certified or licensed, and that there is great future potential in linking ISCC PLUS certification with carbon footprint calculations. Eastman presented on the expected development of U.S. legislation regarding packaging Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws, the need for policymakers to revamp the recycling system by including advanced (chemical) recycling and adopting the mass balance approach and highlighted how certification systems can help shape legislation by developing standards through robust, open, multi-stakeholder processes, as ISCC does. Berry Global reported on the strong development of recycled and renewable plastics and also emphasized the importance of advanced recycling and mass balance, pointing to ISCC PLUS as the leading certification system for bioplastics and recycled plastics. ClimatePal, a recently founded company for the certification of carbon credits, spoke about carbon offsetting and carbon credits certification, introducing the company and its simple, fast, high-quality, and user-friendly certification process.
The virtual meeting ended with the election of a new co-chair of the committee, as Gary DeLong decided to step down after 10 years. We sincerely thank him for the great job he has done! Congratulations also go out to Don Scott (SCS Global Services) on his new position as Co-Chair! Onsite participants then gathered for a networking lunch at the venue and benefited from individual Q&A sessions with Norbert Schmitz and Jan Henke afterwards. We thank all participants and speakers on site and online for their participation and fruitful discussions!