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. ISCC Digitalisation Processes

We invite you to read a detailed update on ISCC´s digitalisation efforts on the ISCC website. This covers the topics “ISCC as Service Provider for the UDB” (interface design, data security, pilot projects, etc.) and the upcoming “ISCC Registration and Document Submission System” (registration of new system users, audit documents, due diligence, APS).

2. APS Update

Due to the updated ISCC fee structure and some other necessary updates to the questions in the audit procedures, ISCC is currently working on the next release of the APS system, which should be published in November 2022.

3. ISCC Japan FIT – Certification approach for sustainable palm oil

In the ISCC Newsletter from 10 June 2022, we informed you that ISCC has been recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry (METI) for certified palm kernel shells (PKS) and palm trunks.

METI operates the Japan FIT scheme that obligates electricity producers in Japan to purchase power from renewable sources (e.g. biomass, wind, solar) at fixed prices for a specified period of time. To achieve this, METI sets incentives for the production of renewable electricity in Japan that includes subsidies for the procurement of palm kernel shells (PKS) and palm trunks but also palm oil.

ISCC has developed an ISCC Japan FIT certification approach for sustainable palm oil that is currently in recognition process with METI. ISCC is in constructive contact with METI to accompany the progress. We will inform you about the further developments in due time.

4. Mandatory on-site audits for palm oil mills 

As communicated in the System Update of 13 June 2022all palm oil mills generating and supplying waste and residues as sustainable under ISCC have to be audited on-site annually as of 1 November 2022. This means, the group auditing approach for points of origin as described in ISCC Document 203 Traceability and Chain of Custody (i.e., auditing only a sample of the points of origin) cannot be applied for palm oil mills anymore.

Further details on this requirement are contained in the ISCC guidance document for the certification of waste and residues from palm oil mills that shall be taken into account for all audits of palm oil mills generating and supplying these materials as sustainable under ISCC.

5. Introduction of the ARIA Platform

Palm oil is one of the most in-demand vegetable oils with a wide range of use cases from cosmetics and processed foods to biofuel. Therefore, palm plantations often displace tropical rainforests, peatlands, and wetlands. To address this issue, the European Commission is considering new rules to improve the state of EU-induced deforestation, and palm oil is one of six commodities that must have a fully traceable supply chain and deforestation-free sourcing. GRAS (Global Risk Assessment Services) is contributing to the implementation of deforestation-free supply chains with the launch of the Automatic RIsk Assessment (ARIA) platform, which provides a user-friendly and fully automated sustainability risk report in minutes. ARIA is currently available for palm oil risk assessments in Indonesia and Malaysia, which together account for more than 80% of global palm oil production. The ARIA report provides an initial assessment of ISCC Principles 1 and 2 with respect to the protection of biodiverse and carbon-rich areas using innovative technologies. ARIA reports support the auditors’ decision-making process in assessing and quantifying the environmental conditions of the farms and plantations to be certified. ISCC will introduce the ARIA platform into its audit procedures in 5 steps:

  1. Online webinar: 25 October 2022, duration of 1 hour (starting time in timezones: 9:30 am Berlin – 2:30 pm Indonesia – 3:30 pm Malaysia)
  2. Online Training will be available: 1 November 2022
  3. Voluntary Phase: 1 November 2022 – 31 January 2023
  4. Transition Phase: 1 February – 30 April 2023
  5. Mandatory Phase: from 1 May 2023 in Malaysia and Indonesia

Certification bodies, auditors and ISCC system users can now register for the online webinar on 25 October. Detailed information about the ARIA platform can be found on the ISCC website.

6. NUTS2-equivalent GHG Values for the cultivation of soybean in Argentina

We herewith inform you that the European Commission (EC) has recognised the typical greenhouse gas emissions from the cultivation of soybean in Argentina.

The decision of recognition of the typical values for soybean from Argentina published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 27 September 2022. The decision will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Journal. This means that the respective NUTS2-equivalent GHG values can be applied from 17 October 2022.

To determine the GHG emissions from cultivation the RED II allows, next to the actual calculation or the application of default values, the use typical values that represent the average value in a specific area. Those typical values have to be reported to the EC by Member States or third countries and can only be used if the Commission recognises them to be accurate. The Commission found that the report provided by Argentina contained accurate data for measuring the GHG associated with the cultivation of soybean typically produced in regions in Argentina that are equivalent to NUTS 2 regions of the European Union.