February 21, 2018

The 8th ISCC Global Sustainability Conference took place in Brussels on 20 February. With 250 participants a new record attendance was set. The expert speakers invited presented highly informative presentations on relevant topics and engaged with the participants in lively discussions. The overarching topic of this year’s ISCC Conference was the future of bioenergy.

The conference was opened by Prof. Jan Christoph Minx from the Mercator Research Institute who presented mitigation pathways to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement and the importance of bioenergy to reach those goals.

The first session of the conference was already one of the highlights. ISCC had invited speakers from the EU Parliament (José Blanco López, Negotiator on RED II on behalf of the Parliament)), EU Council (Siim Meeliste, Chairperson of RED II negotiations during Estonian Presidency), and EU Commission (Bernd Kuepker, Policy Officer, DG Energy) to speak on the state of affairs and outlook of the RED II negotiations. The speakers engaged in a lively debate to discuss their partly divergent views on the future of the RED II and other topics such as the debated ban of palm oil as feedstock for biofuels.

In the second session representatives of the EU Member States Germany (Dr Thomas Weber), Finland (Kati Koponen), United Kingdom (Aaron Berry) and France (Nina Chini) spoke on the waste/residues and advanced biofuels policies in their countries. With the already implemented higher GHG reduction targets as well as post 2020 targets the importance of those feedstocks will further increase.

The third sessions took a global perspective on the future of bioenergy. To accelerate the transition to an advanced, low carbon and global bioeconomy the Biofuture Platform was launched at the COP22 by several countries and industry players. João Bayão of the Mission of Brazil to the European Union explained to the audience why it is an urgent and vital challenge to scale up a low carbon bioeconomy. Ricardo Abreu of the Brazilian branch of Mahle focused on the integrated activities of the platform and what the role of energy efficient vehicles. Randy Hahn of Green Plains spoke on the biofuels policies in the US and California in particular.

In the last session success stories and innovative solutions were presented by speakers from various backgrounds. Potentials for GHG reductions at palm oil mills were presented by Timo Haatainen of Neste. Jan Henke from Meo Carbon Solutions addressed ways to reduce and calculate GHG emissions in global supply chains. The audience learned of a somewhat unappealing but innovative feedstock when Dickon Posnett of Argent Energy spoke ways to remove monster fatbergs from sewages and turn them into biodiesel. Vinesh Sinsha of FatHopes introduced a smart tank storage and tracking system for the UCO collection. John Garcia-Ulloa, researcher at the ETH Zurich introduced the OPAL (Oil Palm Adaptive Landscape) Project, and why it can be beneficial for the sustainability of the sector to sometimes play games with the smallholders. In the final presentation Andreas Feige of ISCC presented ISCC’s approach for Independent Smallholder certification (link zur ISCC website hinterlegen). With this approach smallholders, for example, shall be enabled to increase their productivity and income without putting further pressure on land to expand agricultural activities. With a specifically developed app smallholders can easily map and upload their fields.

ISCC is very delighted about the successful conference and would like to thank all participants. A special thanks goes to the speakers for their insightful contributions.

ISCC e.V. General Assembly

Information on the ISCC e.V. General Assembly such as the agenda, the minutes and the presentation shown can be found in the ISCC client section under “General Assembly”.