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Savannah Sustainability Workshop
ITransatlantic Trade Report Covern October 2013, the Pinchot Institute brought together more than 60 participants including representatives of US pellet producers, European purchasers, U.S., Canadian, and European policymakers, and conservation organizations met over two days to analyze and debate complex sustainability issues related to the growing trade in wood pellets between the U.S. and Europe.

Organized by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and the International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy Tasks 40 and 43, the Savannah workshop explored the potential application of sustainability criteria being developed by European governments and industry.

The Transatlantic Trade in Wood for Energy: A Dialogue on Sustainability Standards and Greenhouse Gas Emissions [Download report PDF] summarizes the major themes and conclusions emerging from the dialogue. Key points of discussion highlighted the need to:
  • Expand our understanding of sustainability concepts beyond simple growth-to-drain calculations
  • Clarify understanding of how pellet demand may affect forests and forest products markets in the future
  • Negotiate scientifically robust and effective European sustainability criteria (third-party verification, risk assessment and mitigation, etc.) and develop procedures for satisfying these criteria within the U.S.
  • Continue the dialogue around biogenic and combustion emissions with a focus on (1) enhancing scientific understanding of the complexities involved, and (2) analyzing intended and unintended consequences of policy and regulatory options
Five panel discussions at the workshop delved into:
  1. Projected European biomass demand and the supply response in the U.S. [Panel 1]
  2. Sustainability of the southern forest resource and sustainability issues in the regions’ private forests [Panel 2]
  3. The need for easily measurable and effective sustainability indicators [Panel 3]
  4. The need for parity between emerging sustainability policies from Europe and sustainability programs and practices in the U.S., and [Panel 4]
  5. A focused debate on the accounting of biogenic and combustion emissions [Panel 5]

Above: A webinar summarizing the workshop findings. (Download accompanying slides)

Agenda (Download full agenda PDF)
Wednesday, October 23

Introduction—Meeting Kick-Off, Welcome from the Planning Committee.
  1. Al Sample and Brian Kittler, Pinchot Institute. Meeting Objectives, Outputs and Desired Outcomes. Review of agenda/logistics. [Download presentation]
  2. Tat Smith, University of Toronto/IEA Bioenergy Task 43. Welcome from IEA Bioenergy. Reflections on what has transpired in the year since the Quebec City event [Download presentation]
  3. Robert Farris, Georgia Forestry Commission. Welcome to Georgia. The local perspective: Opportunities, priorities, and sustainability challenges.
Panel 1—Factoring the Big Picture into Notions of Sustainability.
  • Martin Junginger, Utrecht University/IEA Bioenergy Task 40.  The strategic importance of the Southeast US in global biomass trade. [Download presentation]
  • Dave Wear, USDA Forest Service. Status, trends, and challenges for southern forests. [Download presentation]
  • Bob Abt, North Carolina State University. Forecasting possible futures. What can we reasonably speculate about future market demand and supply response? [Download presentation]
  • Steven Prisley, Virginia Polytechnic and State University. Factoring sustainability metrics into pellet mill feasibility assessments and regional supply assessments. [Download presentation]
Panel 2—Measuring Sustainability and Risk.
  • Virginia Dale, Oak Ridge National Lab.  Aligning measurable and meaningful bioenergy sustainability indicators with sustainability criteria and existing sustainability programs. [Download presentation]
  • Judy Dunscomb, The Nature Conservancy. Biodiversity in the south’s working forests. [Download presentation]
  • Jason Evans, University of Georgia. Biodiversity risk assessment when establishing supply chains. [Download presentation]
Panel 3—International Sustainability Criteria for Solid Biomass. 
  • Asger Strange Olesen, Policy Officer/END, European Commission, Directorate General Climate. EU level sustainability criteria.
  • Emily Fripp, Senior Consultant and CPET Project Manager, EFCA.  Example of member state level criteria, the UK CPET program. [Download presentation]
  • Volker Türk, EON. Corporate level; the goals and process of the Initiative Wood Pellet Buyers group. [Download presentation]
  • Keith Kline, ORNL. ISO development of "Sustainability Criteria for Bioenergy" (ISO 13065):  current status, opportunities and obstacles. [Download presentation]
Panel 4—Environmental Risk Mitigation and Procurement Practices 
  • Guy Sabin, South Carolina Forestry Commission. Approaches to managing biomass sustainability at the landowner scale (e.g. Voluntary incentive programs, regulatory programs, and the role of stewardship plans and practices (e.g. forest stewardship plans, timber harvesting BMPs, biomass harvesting BMPs). [Download presentation]
  • Uwe Fritsche, IINAS. Meta-study on energy wood certification. [Download presentation]
  • Mieke Vandewal, Control Union. Application of the Green Gold Label. [Download presentation]
  • Bob Simpson, GreenWoodGlobal Consulting, LTD. Procurement pathways in the US. [Download presentation]
  • David Refkin, Greenpath Sustainability Consultants. Market signals for sustainable sourcing and green purchasing. [Download presentation]
Panel 5 - Greenhouse Gas Accounting – Methodologies and application to the policy and operations level.
  • Overview of biogenic carbon analyses and lessons learned from southeast US carbon accounting case studies. 
  1. Patrick Lamers, Utrecht University/IEA Bioenergy Task 40 [Download presentation]
  2. Thomas Buchholz, Spatial Informatics Group [Download presentation]
Moderated question and answer panel [Moderator, Martin Junginger] 
  • Reid Miner, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement
  • David Pare, Natural Resources Canada [Download presentation]
  • Fanny-Pomme Langue, AEBIOM
  • Chris Galik, Duke University, The Nicholas Institute 
  • David Carr, Southern Environmental Law Center [Download presentation]
  • Steve Hamburg, Environmental Defense Fund
Thursday October 24
Field tour focused on biomass supply chains in southeast Georgia, touring industrial and non-industrial timberlands and a pellet mill sourcing low-grade pulpwood from both certified and uncertified lands.

On Bus Presentation: Nathan McClure, Georgia Forestry Commission [Download presentation]
On Bus Presentation: Zander Evans, Forest Guild. Southeast Biomass Guidelines and the Ecology of Deadwood in the Southeast. [Download PDF]


Briefing Materials:
Pathways to Sustainability
Applying Pathways to Sustainability
The Science-Policy Interface on the Environmental Sustainability of Forest Bioenergy
On the Timing of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Benefits of Forest-Based Bioenergy
Environmental Sustainability of Biomass: Summary and Conclusions from the IEA Bioenergy ExCo68 Workshop
Using a Life Cycle Assessment Approach to Estimate the Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Bioenergy
USDA Comments on Biogenic Emissions 5-25-12



 

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