The Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), which was amended in 2015 by the iLUC Directive (2015/1513), uses voluntary certification schemes as proof of conformity with its environmental (no-go areas and minimum greenhouse gas savings) and traceability requirements. Voluntary certification schemes may apply for EU recognition in order for certificate holders to access EU market without further verification of sustainability credentials.
The recognition process requires voluntary schemes to implement a large number of requirements, including:
- Biodiversity and ecosystem protection;
- Greenhouse gas calculation and minimum saving threshold;
- Traceability of feedstocks, including for waste and residues such as used cooking oil;
- Assurance, e.g. auditors qualification, auditing processes, accreditation, etc.
E4tech has been supporting several voluntary schemes (incl. Bonsucro and the Round Table for Responsible Soy) with the implementation of EU requirements and throughout the evaluation process undertaken by the European Commission. After several rounds of comments and documentation improvements, voluntary schemes successfully obtained their (re)approval for a period of 5 years.