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First short rotation plantation earns certification

The GreenWood Tree Farm Fund (GTFF) in the US has become the first short rotation forest plantation worldwide to earn certification under the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). Source: PR News Wire

The RSB certification covers GTFF’s cultivation, management and harvesting of coppiced poplar trees, used as biomass feedstock for the cellulosic ethanol industry or pelletized for direct combustion in biomass electric plants.

SCS Global Services (SCS) a leader in third-party sustainability certification conducted the certification.

GTFF is managed by GreenWood Resources.

SCS audited the Boardman, Oregon tree farm to RSB standards jointly with GWR’s annual Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification renewal.

Combined, these two certifications recognize GWR’s effort to maintain biodiversity, protect water resources, account for greenhouse gas emissions, treat workers fairly, and benefit the community.

“While biofuels for both transportation and energy production offer promise as an alternative to fossil fuels, production of its raw material can have a major impact on land, air, and water resources,” said Neil Mendenhall, manager of supply chain services at SCS.

“GWR is demonstrating a sustainable approach to the production of biomaterials that has a greatly reduced environmental impact.”

The RSB is an international multi-stakeholder initiative concerned with ensuring the sustainability of biomaterial production and processing.

SCS is accredited by the RSB to conduct third-party assessments of biomaterial operations to determine compliance to the RSB standards, which encompass environmental, social and economic criteria.

“RSB is pleased that GWR has demonstrated the sustainability of its biomass feedstock production sufficient to earn certification.” said Rolf Hogan, Executive Director of RSB.

“GreenWood is a great example of a short-rotation tree farm that can reach the highest level of sustainability.

“Biomass from trees is an ideal solution for generating renewable fuels and chemicals while reducing reliance on fossil fuels,” said Jeff Nuss, president and CEO of GWR.

“GWR’s high-yield, short-rotation tree farms need less fertilizer and less energy to produce than traditional row crops, and they produce greater energy output per unit of production. We take our sustainability mission very seriously and are proud to have received the RSB designation.”