ISCC PLUS Certification - Sustainability for Biogenic and Circular Products
What is ISCC PLUS?
With ISCC PLUS, the International Sustainability Carbon Certification (ISCC) extends its certification system to foodstuffs such as chocolate, oils, bakery products or sugar. Further additions are animal feed and technical or chemical materials, such as bioplastics, candles, cosmetics or packaging and bioenergy applications (e.g. solid biomass).
Thus, in addition to the existing certification of sustainable biofuel, ISCC also offers product certification for all types of feedstocks with applications for a wide range of markets.
For whom is ISCC PLUS relevant?
ISCC PLUS can be used by non-certified companies as well as by interfaces already certified under ISCC EU. Companies wishing to be certified under ISCC PLUS can select several voluntary modules in addition to the minimum requirements.
The ISCC PLUS modules include, among others
- Environmental management and biodiversity
- Classified chemicals
- SAI Gold
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- GMO-free food and feed
- GMO-free technical markets
- Electricity and heat from biogas plants
What are the benefits of ISCC PLUS certification?
The growth of the circular economy and bioeconomy is fueled by several factors: In particular, new legal regulations, increasing environmental pollution, increased pressure from NGOs and a change in consumer buying behaviour are bringing about major changes for many companies, but also hold the potential to operate ecologically, open up new markets and reap higher profits with an improved image.
For this purpose, it is necessary to communicate transparent and verified information to the stakeholders, which is made possible by an ISCC PLUS certification. With an ISCC PLUS certificate you prove, among other things, that
- the ISCC sustainability requirements are met
- neither deforestation nor loss of biodiversity is encouraged
- traceability along the supply chain is given
- credibility is ensured through third-party verification
- realistic and verifiable claims are made
Furthermore, the ISCC PLUS certification is recognised by well-known suppliers (e.g. Unilever, Coca-Cola) as proof of sustainable production. Following a benchmarking of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) platform, the sustainability requirements of ISCC PLUS were found to be equivalent to the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) Silver level. This allows ISCC PLUS certified system users around the world to sell all ISCC PLUS compliant products as equivalent to FSA Silver.
With the help of a signed self-declaration, it has to be proven to the first collector or the collection point that the produced biomass meets the ISCC PLUS sustainability criteria.
Each biomass delivery for the production of sustainable ISCC PLUS products must be unmistakably marked (incl. certificate number on the shipping documents) and weighed or measured to determine the quantity.
A mass balance system must be maintained individually for each site and is substrate-specific. It allows the physical mixing of raw material or end product deliveries with different sustainability characteristics. However, it requires that information on the sustainability characteristics of partial deliveries be recorded separately in the balance sheet.
If you decide to cooperate with GUTcert, an on-site audit will take place to assess conformity with the requirements of the ISCC PLUS system. After a successful review of the audit documents by GUTcert, you will receive a certificate proving compliance with the sustainability criteria according to ISCC PLUS. The certificate is valid for one year and is renewed by a recertification audit before it expires.
How does the combination of ISCC PLUS with other certification systems work?
If your company is already certified according to ISCC-EU, you only need to have the specific PLUS requirements and those of the optionally selected modules checked. With little effort, you can thus open up many new markets for your company and increase your competitiveness immensely.