In order to preserve the environment, associated with nature and climate protection, the production of biomass to generate energy is supposed to cause at least 35 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than the utilisation of fossil fuels. From 2017 the decrease shall amount to even 50 percent. Furthermore it is supposed to lower the destruction of valuable areas by means of natural protection. This affects particularly woodlands, grasslands or wetland areas with a high biodiversity.
In 2009 therefore the Biomass Electricity Sustainability Ordinance (Biomassestrom-Nachhaltigkeitsverordnung (BioSt-NachV)) and the Sustainability Ordinance for Biofuels (Biokraftstoff-Nachhaltigkeitsverordnung (Biokraft-NachV)) entered into force. These ordinances are the German implementation of the EU's Renewable Energy Directive of 2009 (amended in 2015; proposal for revision in 2016).
Producers of electricity, which is based on renewable resources, have to provide evidence towards the grid operator that the biomass is coming from sustainable sources. In the biofuel’s sector, those who put the biofuel on the market, have to furnish proof about the fuel’s origin. Certificates to proof the sustainability of each step of cultivation and along the supply chain for all types of biomass are issued by certification authorities according to corresponding audits. In Germany the responsible certification authorities are approved and supervised by the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE).
Certification systems in terms of the Biokraft-NachV are administrative systems that ensure the requirements regarding the production and supply of biomass as well as biofuels. They comprise standards for further details for the accomplishment and supervision of the respective certificate. Through certification systems the compliance of sustainability and minimum greenhouse gas savings at the production of biomass and bioenergy is reviewed in practice and confirmed by a certificate.
In the context of a sustainable biomass production in Germany BLE is responsible for the approval of certification authorities, who are located in Germany. Authorized certification systems and certification authorities in terms of the sustainability ordinances Biokraft-NachV and BioSt-NachV are published on the website of BLE.
Interfaces sum up the companies along the manufacturing and supply chain for which a certification is required. A distinction is made between