Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance drafts guidelines

By Susanne Retka Schill | August 08, 2008
Web exclusive posted August 22, 2008 at 9:40 a.m. CST

An online forum has been created on the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance Web site to solicit comments on its recently released document titled "Baseline Practices for Sustainability."

Over the past year, alliance members have developed definitions and standards for sustainability in three key areas: environmental, social and economic concerns. The four work groups (feedstock, production, distribution, and end users) were represented by family farmers, environmental groups, representatives from the U.S. EPA, fuel distributors, biodiesel producers, academics, trucking fleets and renewable energy consultants.

"All biodiesel is not created equal, so establishing baseline practices for biodiesel production and distribution is critical to creating transparency in the marketplace and allowing consumers to know if the biodiesel they are purchasing is part of the solution or part of the problem," said Jeff Plowman, executive director of the SBA. "The bottom line is that we need to support our local farmers and educate the public on the difference between sustainable and non-sustainable biodiesel. The baseline practices address issues including energy security, agrochemicals, land use, greenhouse gas emissions, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), biodiversity, energy conservation and community benefit."

Following the 45-day open forum period, the SBA will incorporate the public feedback into the document. The draft document will then be discussed and ratified at the "Sustainable Biodiesel Stakeholders Summit 2008" scheduled for Sept. 17 in Austin, Texas. Interested individuals can also register on the SBA Web site for an online forum.
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