Jan 12, 2012 07:00 GMT SEKAB is one out of four companies to receive a sustainability decision for biofuels and bioliquids from the Swedish Energy Agency. The sustainability decision is the first ever to be granted in Sweden, which proves that SEKAB’s fuel is guaranteed durable, a prerequisite for obtaining tax exemption for renewable fuels as of February 1, 2012.
The world’s first verified sustainable ethanol comes to SwedenMay 26, 2008 12:26 BST
Swedish SEKAB is the first in the world to supply verified sustainable ethanol. This is ethanol from Brazilian sugarcane for inclusion in E85 and ED95. The ethanol is quality assured from environmental, climate and social perspectives.
Like electricity, ethanol is an energy carrier. And just like electricity made from wind power and from coal, there are better and worse ways of producing ethanol.
“Consumers and other stakeholders need guarantees that the ethanol we delivery is verified sustainable,” says Anders Fredriksson, vice president of SEKAB BioFuels & Chemicals.
SEKAB has therefore spent 18 months developing a framework with criteria that cover the entire lifecycle of ethanol from the sugarcane fields all the way through to its use in cars. This has been done together with a number of progressive Brazilian producers who share SEKAB’s view that this is vital for the future development of the international ethanol market.
The initiative is the first practical application of verified sustainable ethanol and is a major step toward realizing an international standard for how ethanol should be produced in an ecological and socially sustainable way. The criteria that sustainable ethanol must meet are in line with those demands highlighted in the ongoing processes being led by international organisations like the UN, EU, ILO and a number of NGOs.
In addition to environmental sustainability, the requirements have zero tolerance for child labour, non-organised working conditions (slave labour) and the felling of rain forests. There are also requirements concerning working conditions, labour laws and wages. Harvesting is to be at least 30 per cent mechanised today and this will increase to 100 per cent by 2014. The transition from manual to mechanised harvests is similar to the Scandinavian forest industry’s transition from manual felling to mechanical felling and the effects this had on working conditions and the number of employees.
In terms of the climate, the demands on verified sustainable ethanol will result in a
reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from farming, production and transport to Sweden by at least 85 per cent compared with petrol.
An independent international verification company will audit all production units twice a year to ensure the established criteria are met.
Taking the lead
“This initiative for verified sustainable sugarcane ethanol is the first of its kind in the world and a major step in the right direction for speeding the replacement of today’s petrol and diesel,” says Anders Fredriksson. “The criteria will gradually be developed over the coming years and synchronised with coming EU regulations when these are in place.”
“The EU is developing regulations with requirements for sustainable biofuels but it will take time before these are ready, so we are taking the lead,” says Anders Fredriksson. “The also hope that through this initiative, we can speed the development of international regulations. This will definitely speed developments in Brazil so that we can soon increase the range of verified sustainable ethanol to meet the fast growing international demand for renewable alternatives to oil.”
First delivery in August
SEKAB delivers about 90 per cent of all ethanol in Sweden for E85 and ED95 (ethanol for heavy vehicles).
“The first harvest of sugarcane for our verified sustainable ethanol has just begun,” explains Anders Fredriksson. “This means Swedish owners of ethanol-powered cars can begin filling up with verified sustainable ethanol at the beginning of August.”
Anders Fredriksson, 070-610 11 77