Biomass energy is an interesting, if not a bit controversial, renewable energy approach. Burning woody waste products that come from the forest or from urban wood waste to create electricity can be a sustainable practice, but some maintain that not all forest fiber is obtained in a responsible way which helps protect the forests themselves. The Nature Conservancy happens to be one of those groups that sees an opportunity to improve the methods by which woody waste is obtained from our forests.
Partnering with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is launching a pilot program aimed at “helping bioenergy companies in the U.S. support responsible forest management through their procurement of woody biomass.”
The project intends to establish a “responsible procurement system” that bioenergy facilities can use to ensure their practices don’t have a negative impact on forest resources. The procurement system will reportedly draw on SFI’s Fiber Sourcing requirements and studies will be made to identify any gaps that exist between existing procurement practices and those SFI sourcing requirements.
Under the program, all participants – whether they own or manage lands or buy fiber – would have to take steps to make certain that the raw material in their supply chain comes from responsible sources. According to TNC, the next step for the project is to identify bioenergy facilities willing to be project participants and assist in the learning process.
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