Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

We herewith inform you about updates in the ISCC System. Please share this information with all relevant members of staff.

1. ISCC Principles 2-6 for Agricultural Biomass: Public Consultation and the New Date for Implementation

At COP26, hope was reignited as world leaders of over 100 countries committed to fighting deforestation with a new pledge. ISCC’s sustainable agricultural principles are already aligned to the pledge of deforestation-free supply chains. ISCC Principle 11 ensures that agricultural biomass is not produced on land with high biodiversity and high carbon stocks. To support sustainable agriculture that does not endanger ecosystems or forests and contribute to achieving climate-neutral targets, practices and resilient farms have to be encouraged. By protecting and following sustainable practices and principles, farmers have an opportunity to improve their productivity and their livelihoods—as livelihoods and biodiversity protection are intertwined. Furthermore, the production of agricultural biomass has to be done in a socially responsible way. The environmentally friendly and socially responsible production of raw materials from agriculture is covered under the ISCC Principles 2-62.

In July 2021, ISCC published an updated System Document for the ISCC Principles 2-6. The update includes new requirements to protect and improve biodiversity and conditions for pollinators on farms, the avoidance of soil erosion and compaction. Safe working conditions are to be improved by adding restrictions related to dangerous activities and that accidents happening at the farm are covered by contracts or adequate compensation.

The principle that covers compliance with human and labour rights has been improved by adding the requirement that information on social and environmental issues have to be made accessible by the farm to stakeholders. Special attention has to be paid to ensure the participation of women and minority groups in meetings and consultations. Furthermore, regular employment relationships should be made available for farmworkers wherever possible.

Since the publication of the updated ISCC Principles 2-6, stakeholders have provided valuable feedback on this. It seems that one item of particular interest is the requirement that a certain amount of arable land would have to be set aside after three years to implement ecological focus areas to protect biodiversity and pollinators. ISCC would like to clarify that we take all feedback from stakeholders into account. In a recent feedback meeting with the certification bodies, we also received the feedback that more time for implementation would be desirable for farmers and certification bodies/auditors alike.

The ISCC Principles 2-6 are now available for public consultation here in the public consultation section of the ISCC website until 05th January 2022.

To properly address your feedback and implement this adequately into the document, the implementation date of this document (ISCC System Document 202-2 “Agricultural Biomass: Sustainability Principles 2-6”) will be postponed by six months from 01st January 2022 to 01st July 2022.

2. Public Consultation: Newly Developed ISCC System Documents for ISCC Japan FIT Certification

ISCC has developed two system documents for the certification of palm kernel shells (PKS) and palm trunks under the Japan FIT (feed-in-tariff) scheme:

  • ISCC Japan FIT System Document – Palm Kernel Shells and Palm Trunks
  • ISCC Japan FIT: Principles and Criteria – Palm Kernel Shells and Palm Trunks

The Japan FIT scheme has been set up by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). It sets out incentives for producing renewable electricity in Japan, including subsidies for the procurement of palm kernel shells and palm trunks. The ISCC Japan FIT system documents cover specific requirements set by METI and are globally applicable for economic operators producing, processing and trading palm kernel shells and palm trunks destined for power generation in Japan.

The ISCC Japan Fit system documents are available here in the public consultation section of the ISCC website. Please send us your feedback via the contact form in the public consultation section until 05th January 2022.

1ISCC Principle 1 covers all land related legal requirements of the RED II

2SCC Principles 2-6 go beyond the legal requirements of the RED II