(Blog, Maiju Helin, 18 February 2016) Responsibility is a natural part of UPM´s businesses. Responsibility is about values, commitments and actions. It is shown every day that innovative and responsible business can be efficient and profitable, bringing quality of life and prosperity to our stakeholders. UPM’s economic, social and environmental responsibility is verified by multiple certificates and ecolabels granted by independent third parties.
Certification of different products and supply chains is well known at UPM. However, only in biofuels is the sustainability certification a mandatory business enabler - a biofuel, such as UPM BioVerno, can be sold in Europe as a sustainable fuel only when it is certified against obligatory EU RED (Renewable Energy Directive) sustainability requirements. Otherwise the fuel is treated like fossil fuel.
UPM produces UPM BioVerno renewable diesel fuel in its Lappeenranta Biorefinery from Crude Tall Oil (CTO), a residue of pulp production. Currently UPM BioVerno is certified according to Finnish national sustainability standard and ISCC-EU (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) standard for biofuels. Certification verifies that a supply and production chain is managed and operated according to certain standard’s rules. Bringing the rules and requirements into action requires systematic processes and risk mitigation procedures.
In sustainability certification of biofuels, specific requirements are set for feedstock origin, traceability, mass balance and greenhouse gas emission emissions. These are systematically monitored in the entire supply chain from feedstock to production and until end user of a fuel. Each feedstock supplier is evaluated and monitored carefully, and each batch or truck of feedstock or fuel is followed one by one throughout the chain. Risk mitigation tools are used in all phases.
Each batch of UPM´s biofuel can be traced back to its origin, to the pulp mill where its raw material, crude tall oil, was generated. Tall oil originates from resin of pine trees.
Each BioVerno truck holds a specific Proof of Sustainability (PoS). One can read the fuel’s story in the PoS. It includes information about the properties of the specific truck content – used feedstock, feedstock origin and greenhouse gas reduction compared to its fossil reference. Each batch of a final biofuel can be traced back to its origin, to the pulp mill where its raw material, crude tall oil, was generated.
Driving cleaner traffic
Sustainability certification of biofuels is an entry ticket to the regulated European renewable transport fuel market. However, the reasoning for the certification requirement lies mainly in environmental concerns. The main aim of biofuel policy is to mitigate climate change caused by increased CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Sustainable advanced biofuels significantly reduce undesired greenhouse gas emissions. Often, high quality drop-in biofuels also reduce other air emissions, such as particulates and nitrogen oxides. This is also the case with UPM BioVerno renewable diesel. Conversion of fossil fuel use into sustainable, advanced biofuel is a step towards more sustainable society.
UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery in Finland produces annually 120 million litres of renewable diesel reducing CO2 emissions by 80% and tailpipe emissions significantly compared to fossil diesel.
Stakeholder dialogue develops sustainable performance
The consistent work on corporate responsibility has been recognized by several external international parties. UPM has been listed as the industry leader in the Dow Jones European and World Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for 2015-2016. Just recently, UPM was ranked on the 25th place in the Global 100 list of the most sustainable corporations, and United Nations invited UPM to join a group of world's top 50 sustainability leaders in the UN Global Compact LEAD platform.
For UPM, driving top performance is clearly linked to sustainability. UPM recognizes the importance of proving sustainability of wood-based biofuels and has therefore engaged with several stakeholders on discussion and dialogue. UPM also participates in numerous research programs and projects looking at the various aspects of for example availability and sustainability of wood residues. For example, UPM and WWF Finland continuously co-operate to promote the sustainability of wood-based liquid biofuels.
In addition to the current sustainability certificates, UPM has recently assessed together with WWF Finland the feasibility of an international sustainability standard, RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials), to its Biofuels operations. We will tell more about the findings in a separate blog to follow.
Read more about UPM and WWF Finland cooperation:
UPM and WWF Finland dialogue paper on wood-based biofuels