Sustainability and governance of bioenergy supply chains

Presentation of results of the IEA Bioenergy Inter-task project on “Measuring, governing and gaining support for sustainable bioenergy supply chains”

Sustainability of liquid and solid biofuels production is under continued scrutiny, including topics such as iLUC, food vs. fuel, forest carbon accounting and sustainable forest manage­ment principles. Sustainability criteria and metrics differ between feedstock and final end use (road transport vs. heat & power, size of end-use, no criteria for aviation, shipping & materials yet). At the same time, the public debate on bioenergy is heated, partly due to different views on need, governance, and the partial or perceived failure of systems to ensure the sustainability of bioenergy supply chains. Obviously, definitions of ‘sustainable bioenergy’ also depend on different views and perceptions of stakeholders, both within and outside the value chains, and this may confuse the discussion.

To address the respective challenges, the IEA Bioenergy inter-task project on “Measuring, governing and gaining support for sustainable bioenergy supply chains” is pursuing three main objectives:

  1. To provide an overview and examples of calculation methods & tools to assess the sustainability of various biomass and bioenergy supply chains and discuss needs, possibilities and limitations of global, uniform/harmonized framework.
  2. To compare and assess the legitimacy, including effectiveness and efficiency of a variety of approaches on how to govern and verify sustainability of biomass and bioenergy supply chains in different conditions.
  3. To understand the positions and underlying motivations of stakeholder groups relative to their perceptions of bioenergy and inform dialogues/discussions to avoid misconceptions and gain trust in bioenergy

This project was started in early 2016, and under the three objectives, a multitude of studies have been initiated, focusing largely on agriculture, forestry and biogas. These have now yielded results to be shared and discussed with participants of EUBCE 2018.

Given the ongoing discussions on sustainability and governance of bioenergy supply chains in the RED-II negotiations, the aims of this side event are two-fold:

  • To share project results of the work carried out on governance and stakeholder involvement with an audience from industry, policy, science, and civil society
  • To discuss existing and new approaches for governance – the way forward.

A free, light lunch will be served at the start of the session.


12:30 Welcome & Introduction – Kees Kwant, IEA Bioenergy

12:40 The IEA Bioenergy Vision on Sustainable Bioenergy and stakeholder views

Uwe R. Fritsche, IEA Bioenergy Task 40 & IINAS, Germany, with contributions from

  • Thuy Mai-Moulin: supranational stakeholder views on sustainable bioenergy
  • Daniela Thrän and Kay Schaubach: The case of biogas in Germany
  • Evelyne Thiffault: Stakeholder perception on La Tuque biorefinery, Canada

13:30 Panel Discussion: Towards a Joint View on Bioenergy’s Future.

Moderator: Martin Junginger

During the panel discussion panelists will be asked to reflect on the findings of the presentations of the three speakers. In addition, we will explore what are the main points of disagreement between stakeholders, and – equally important – what are areas of common agreement (or where this could be achieved with relatively little effort) to reflect on future pathways and strategies for sustainable bioenergy development which take these stakeholder views and concerns into account.

Outcomes of the dialogue together with the results of the questionnaire, interviews with the supranational stakeholders will be used for the IEA Bioenergy Intertask project “Measuring, governing and gaining support for sustainable bioenergy supply chains”


  • Géraldine Kutas, UNICA – Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association
  • Jesper Lund-Larsen (3F, largest Union in Denmark)
  • Thuy Mai-Moulin, Utrecht University
  • Michela Morese, GBEP – Global Bioenergy Partnership
  • Kay Schaubach, DBFZ
  • Jeffrey Skeer, IRENA
  • Evelyne Thiffault, Université Laval

14:00 Voices from the plenary

14:15-15:30 Governing Sustainable Bioenergy

This last session of the workshop will discuss how the sustainability of bioenergy – and biomass in general – could and should be governed by policies (governmental national and international regulation, trade agreements, company commitments and due diligence, consumer labels/certification etc.).

With bioenergy being in the focus of current EU legislation (RED-II, palmoil) and the broader bio­economy increasingly being subject to policy recommendations, practical approaches and reflections on new concepts will complement the previous discussions, aiming at next steps to be taken.

14.15 Messages from CPH Conference – Inge Stupak, IEA Bioenergy Task 43 & CPH University

14:30 Video message from Claude Turmes, Member of the European Parliament

14:35 Panel Discussion: New Approaches for Governance – the Way Forward?

Moderator: Uwe Fritsche


  • Olivier Dubois, UN Food and Agriculture Organization
  • Christian Ege, Danish Ecological Council
  • Jacopo Giuntoli, ICCT
  • Richard Peberdy, Drax
  • Peter Birch Sorensen, University of Copenhagen
  • Inge Stupak, University of Copenhagen

15:30 End

Tuesday 15 May, 12:30 - 15:30

Room 18

Organised by

Contact person:

Prof. Martin Junginger
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development,
Utrecht University


To attend this event please make a regular conference registration for at least the day of the event.
Please note that this Programme may be subject to alteration and the organisers reserve the right to do so without giving prior notice.