This paper presents an overview of 67 ongoing certification initiatives to safeguard the sustainability of bioenergy. Most recent initiatives are focused on the sustainability of liquid biofuels. Content-wise, most of these initiatives have mainly included environmental principles. Despite serious concerns in various parts of the world on the socio-economic impacts of bioenergy production, these are generally not included in existing bioenergy initiatives. At the same time, the overview shows a strong proliferation of standards. The overview shows that certification has the potential to influence direct, local impacts related to environmental and social effects of direct bioenergy production. Key recommendations to come to an efficient certification system include the need for further harmonization, availability of reliable data and linking indicators on a micro, meso and macro levels. Considering the multiple spatial scales, certification should be combined with additional measurements and tools on a regional, national and international level. The role of bioenergy production on indirect land use change (ILUC) is still very uncertain and current initiatives have rarely captured impacts from ILUC in their standards. Addressing unwanted LUC requires first of all sustainable land use production and good governance, regardless of the end-use of the product. It is therefore recommended to extend measures to mitigate impacts from LUC to other lands and feedstock.

Contact Information
Contact Person: 
J. van Dam
Contact Organization: 
Department of Science, Technology & Society, Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University
Publication Information
Author: 
J. van Dam
M. Junginger
A.P.C. Faaij
Publication Year: 
2010
DOE Information
Bioenergy Category: