19 June 2024

Brazilian ethanol producer FS Fueling Sustainability is the first to receive the ISCC Low Land Use Change Risk (Low LUC) Certification for the production of bioethanol based on second-crop corn grown with zero induced land use change emissions. 

In the aviation industry’s quest to reduce its climate impact, it will rely heavily on the widespread adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Made from renewable feedstock, SAF can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in air transport and support the ‘hard-to-abate’ sector in meeting its ambitious emission reduction goals.  

To scale up SAF supply, the volumes of available sustainable feedstock must increase significantly. While the quantities of waste and residue feedstocks that can be collected sustainably are limited and SAF made from renewable power still requires substantial time and investment to mature, the industry investigates potential worthy additions to the feedstock pool. One alternative is crop feedstock that is cultivated sustainably and neither compromises food and feed production nor entails elevated risk for land use change. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recognises this approach, provided certain criteria are met and compliance is certified. 

FS Fueling Sustainability, an established corn ethanol producer in Brazil, intends to help narrow the gap between SAF supply and demand through the manufacture of low carbon ethanol based on second-crop corn. The company is the first to obtain the Low Land Use Change Risk Certification under ISCC’s CORSIA certification scheme, demonstrating that the corn grain they source does not contribute to induced land use change.  

Thomas René Bock, Senior System Manager at ISCC System, explains: “FS Fueling Sustainability is the first company worldwide to receive our Low LUC Risk Certification. By that, it is verified that FS sources second-crop corn which has not been grown on additional land or led to a displacement of cultivation. Instead, second-crop corn is grown on existing land after the primary crop has been harvested.”  

Água Santa farm, a division of the GGF Group, supplies FS Fueling Sustainability with its second-crop corn. Applying sequential cropping, Água Santa farm could increase yields without expanding its cultivation area. Once delivered to FS Fueling Sustainability, the corn will be processed into ethanol, which is suitable for the production of SAF.  

Rafael Abud, CEO of FS Fueling Sustainability, states:” Thanks to the ISCC Low LUC Risk Certification, we can now claim an induced land use change value of zero for our feedstock. It testifies that our ethanol is a low-carbon feedstock and that we operate in line with the best global agricultural practices. This gives us a competitive edge in the market. At the same time, we provide the market with more sustainable alternative fuels and help increase SAF supply. That’s a win-win-situation.”  

“Scaling the production and use of SAF is the most impactful means the industry has to achieve net-zero. To do so, we need to urgently move the needle on the supply side of SAF and ensure that more feedstocks become available. However, we must make sure that this feedstock meets stringent sustainability criteria. With our new low LUC risk certification approach, feedstock producers can bring high-integrity crop feedstock to the market.”, concludes Bock.