Gevo, Inc., understands that sustainability is more than just a marketing tool or selling point for its bio-based, renewable fuels. It’s also a metric that can be scientifically measured and documented. The sustainability of any product, along with ethical and credible sourcing, will be a guide for consumers who seek to do the right thing for the planet and its people. Manufacturers who wish to capitalize on the “sustainable” label will seek to have confirmation by reputable third-party groups that act as watchdogs to prevent misuse of terms or misrepresentation, and this will only grow as the call to for sustainability becomes more urgent.
In the past, Gevo has been certified by two such independent watchdog groups, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), and the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification System (ISCC). Through the approval of certification by these organizations, Gevo ensured that the sustainability of its feedstocks was confirmed by third-party review, and the resulting carbon emitted through the use of its fuels was a renewable resource. Gevo is exploring certification through the RSB for future facilities and partners.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials is an independent and global multi-stakeholder coalition that works to promote the sustainability of biomaterials. RSB’s user-friendly certification scheme is the strongest and most trusted of its kind. It verifies that biomaterials are ethical, sustainable, and credibly sourced. The certification is approved by RSB’s members, including leading NGOs and UN agencies. RSB members work across sectors to set global best practices for sustainable biomaterial production. Choosing RSB-certified biomaterials helps build trust and credibility in the bio-based sector and supports a healthy bio-based community.
The International Sustainability and Carbon Certification System is a globally applicable sustainability certification system and covers all sustainable feedstocks, including agricultural and forestry biomass, circular and bio-based materials and renewables. ISCC PLUS certification is a sustainability certification scheme for bio-based applications like chemicals, food and feed products, and applications in the bioenergy sector.
Tracking Sustainability with Blockchain
Both of these certifications work hand in hand with Gevo’s efforts to track the sustainability of its fuels through blockchain technology—a kind of sustainability assurance that will allow Gevo to realize market value going forward. Gevo approached Blocksize Capital, a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT, which is also referred to as “Blockchain”) company based in Germany, to use DLT to track the entire value chain of its product. DLT was originally developed as an underlying branch of blockchain, and it is an immutable tool that allows tracking of data with a product and the transactions associated with the product.
Gevo and Blocksize Capital together formed Verity Tracking as a way to take the first step to track the sustainability value chain of renewable transportation fuels. In the near future, DLT-based applications could be applied to agriculture in several ways, and are expected to have a substantial impact on the measure of sustainability. Net-zero-emission renewable fuels produced using agricultural feedstock could be set up to utilize DLT to introduce certification of attributes and potentially make the value accessible to larger markets. By using DLT to attach the key metrics for sustainability to gallons of fuel, the system will enable a sustainability assurance that has not yet been seen.
Here’s how it works:
- Verity Tracking will monitor the sustainability of the farms that provide the feedstock to supply renewable-fuel production.
- By knowing about the agricultural practices of its suppliers, Gevo will ensure yield and sustainability, and will have the ability to pass the information along to the consumer.
- Gevo will also track its own energy use by amount and type, and will attribute that to each gallon via the Verity Tracking system.
- All of these factors eventually will allow Gevo to set up system that rewards the value chain for improving sustainability.
- Once it is set up, the system would easily apply to all of Gevo’s products, including high-protein animal feed, renewable premium gasoline, sustainable aviation fuel, as well as renewable natural gas and clean hydrogen.
- Verity Tracking would also be able to pivot to monitor the sustainability levels of chemicals produced from isobutanol. These chemicals would potentially augment the lifecycle inventory for carbon intensity of durable goods and other products that incorporate plastics and other materials derived from chemicals that were once exclusively made with petroleum-based plastics, as well as other industries that seek to monitor their sustainability.
For more information on the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), visit rsb.org.
For more information on the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification System, visit iscc-sytem.org.
For more information on Verity Tracking, visit veritytracking.com.