UPM earns RSB certification for wood-based liquid biofuels

By UPM Biofuels | May 30, 2017

UPM Biofuels has again received a new acknowledgement of the sustainability of its value chain by receiving a Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials certificate for both UPM BioVerno renewable diesel and naphtha, as well as production side streams turpentine and pitch. RSB verifies the sustainability and reliability of feedstock sourcing and production. 

In RSB certification, the sustainability of biofuels is evaluated against 12 principles which have been approved by many stakeholders, including NGOs and UN agencies. In addition to the greenhouse gas savings compared to fossil fuels, the RSB principles cover biodiversity, human rights and environmental and social responsibility throughout the value chain.

RSB is one of the European Commission's approved voluntary schemes, which can be used to show compliance with the EU Renewable Energy Directive's sustainability criteria. RSB certification can also be used to verify the sustainability of biomaterials for non-energy applications. UPM Biofuels uses crude tall oil, a residue from pulp production, to produce both biofuels and biomaterials in its biorefinery in Lappeenranta, Finland.

"The RSB is proud to count UPM among the visionary biofuel producers that are RSB certified. Using residues, like those from pulp and paper production, to produce energy helps to build a new world free of fossil fuels with minimal impact on nature and food production. This is the first certification of biofuel produced from wood-based feedstocks and RSB looks forward to working with UPM to promote this innovative solution for the bioeconomy," said Rolf Hogan, executive director of RSB.

UPM Biofuels has previously received sustainability certificates under the Finnish National Sustainability Scheme, ISCC EU and International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) schemes.

"RSB certification is a valuable addition to our current sustainability certifications and we see that it can lead to great new collaborations with RSB certified end users. RSB and ISCC are both considered strong sustainability certification schemes and both have their own strengths. We are the only biofuel producer able to show compliance with both voluntary schemes together with a national scheme. This is very strong evidence of sustainability in all UPM Biofuel operations," said Maiju Helin, head of safety, sustainability and quality at UPM Biofuels.


Innovative renewable fuels from Finland

UPM's renewable fuels, known as UPM BioVerno fuels, are an innovation that reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent when compared with fossil fuels.

UPM BioVerno diesel, a high quality drop-in fuel, also reduces tailpipe emissions significantly. UPM BioVerno naphtha can be used as a biocomponent in gasoline or as renewable feedstock for biobased applications, such as bioplastics. UPM's renewable fuels are produced from a residue of UPM's own pulp production, crude tall oil, with no edible materials being used. 

UPM started production of its wood-based renewable fuels in the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery in January 2015. The production capacity of the biorefinery is 120 million liters of renewable fuels annually.