Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

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

1. Update ISCC Documents

ISCC EU and PLUS Audit Procedures

ISCC has adjusted the ISCC PLUS audit procedures and from now on provides combined word audit procedures for ISCC EU and ISCC PLUS (available templates: Chain of Custody, Farm/Plantation, Point of Origin). The integration simplifies audits conducted for both systems at the same time, harmonises the wording for different requirements, reduces the number of documents and thereby increases the overall clarity for the ISCC PLUS scheme. Questions that are only relevant for either EU or PLUS or which include different requirements are marked.

Moreover, the following requirements have been updated/added:

  • The requirements for ISCC PLUS deliveries of biomass and biofuels to Japan are now included
  • If land use change after 2008 took place, a detailed explanation specifying how compliance with ISCC was verified has to be provided to the ISCC head office (evidence should include e.g. remote-sensing technology, pictures of the on-site visit, approach to determine the land category, further tools)
  • New requirements for circular supply chains (e.g. handling of mixed plastic waste) have been added
  • Adjusted structure of the template regarding wording, language and layout

The updated audit procedures must be used for ISCC audits from 01 October 2019 onwards. An earlier application is possible on a voluntary basis.

Please click here to find the updated ISCC audit procedures as pdf files. The word files can be found here in the client section of the ISCC website (login required).

Summary Audit Report

The Summary Audit Report (“SAR”) which is mandatory for all audits conducted after 16 October 2017 has been revised in a multi-stakeholder dialogue. The following adjustments have been implemented:

  • Certificate number and period of validity have been removed from chapter 3.1.
  • The place of audit – if different from the address of the company – can be now be indicated in chapter 3.1 (only applicable for paper traders).
  • The audit of Central Offices for Independent Smallholders can be specified in chapter 3.3.
  • The type of sustainable material traded on paper basis should now be indicated in chapter 3.4.
  • Information on the total number of operators per different types of agricultural producers should now be included in the report.

The updated Summary Audit Report will become mandatory for all audits that will be conducted after 01 October 2019. An earlier application is possible on a voluntary basis. 

Please click here for the adjusted template of the Summary Audit Report.

ISCC PLUS Document open to Public Consultation

ISCC has updated the ISCC PLUS System Document. The amendments mainly concern chapter 7 “Re-Use and Recycling in the Circular Economy”. Besides, some additional clarifications have been added to chapter 9 “Traceability and Chain of Custody”.

ISCC is keen to gather feedback from system users, certification bodies, interested third parties and reviews revised or newly developed documents based on the responses. For this reason, the ISCC PLUS System Document is open to public consultation until 02 September 2019 and can be downloaded here on the ISCC website. ISCC is pleased to receive feedback submitted via this contact form.

2. Recognition of the ISCC Certification System “Solid Biomass NL”

ISCC has developed the new certification system “Solid Biomass NL” which has recently been recognised by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat; EZK). ISCC Solid Biomass NL can now be used by system users to comply with the Dutch legal sustainability requirements for solid biomass for energy applications SDE+. It is applicable for solid biomass from forest management units (FMUs), residues from nature and landscape management, as well as agricultural and biogenic wastes and residues.

The corresponding System Document “Solid Biomass NL” specifies the requirements for the new certification system. It can be downloaded here on the ISCC website.

Please find the public report on the assessment of the certification system “Solid Biomass NL” here on the website of the Dutch Advisory Commission on Sustainability of Biomass for Energy Applications.

3. Registration via Online Form

ISCC has developed an online registration form to facilitate the registration process for prospective system users. This online form replaces the former excel files.

The information required from companies to register remains the same; however, the online firm simplifies the procedure and prevents layout difficulties. Please note that registrations submitted to ISCC via the excel form will still be accepted by ISCC until 31 December 2019. Nonetheless, we strongly recommend the use of the online form. After 01 January 2020, registrations may only be submitted to ISCC via the online form.

Please find the online registration form as well as information regarding the registration process here on the ISCC website.

4. Clarifications

4.1 Replanting Activities and GHG Emissions

Due to recent requests, ISCC would like to clarify again that by calculating GHG emissions on cultivation level also emissions from replanting activities and from activities on immature areas must be taken into account. Alternatively, System Users may use the disaggregated default value for cultivation.

Please also keep in mind that the ISCC farm definition from ISCC EU System Document 201, chapter 3.3 must be followed which excludes cherry-picking.

4.2 Sampling and Auditing of Public Containers

Since we received several inquiries regarding the requirements for the sampling and auditing of public containers, we would like to provide clarification on this matter.

Public containers must be audited on-site on a sample basis, irrespective of how much material is collected from each container. The sample size has to be based on the total number of different locations (addresses) where public containers are located. This means that several public containers located next to each other at the very same location (address) shall be audited as one sample. Please note that the auditor must prepare and submit a separate audit procedure for each sample audit to ISCC.

4.3 Basic Elements of a Mass Balance

Concerning the general importance of this topic, we hereby outline the basic elements that a mass balance should include. The clarification refers to the ISCC System Document 203 “Traceability and Chain of Custody”.

„The mass balance system is the chain of custody option under which the sustainability characteristics (e.g. raw material, GHG value) remain assigned to batches of material on a bookkeeping basis while the physical mixing of material with different sustainability characteristics and the mixing of sustainable and non-sustainable material is allowed.” (page 37/38)

„The following sustainability characteristics have to be distinguished:

  • Raw material (for example, corn or rape/canola)
  • Country of origin of the raw material
  • Information on GHG emissions
  • Waste/residue status of the raw material
  • Claim “ISCC Compliant” or “EU RED Compliant” (if applicable)” (page 32)

Please keep in mind the following: “Each economic operator has to operate an information system which is able to keep track of the amounts of sustainable material sourced and sold. This could include, inter alia, a digital database, documentation with unique reference numbers for batches or similar.”  (page 33)