The overall objective of the Extension stage of Bioenergy Promotion (2012-2014) was to strengthen key outcomes and results of the Main stage. The sustainability principles and criteria, as well as the strategic plans and concepts prepared for the demo regions, provided the main foundations for the Extension stage project.
Project news Background
In the Baltic Sea Region there are large biomass resources available for bioenergy production as well in agricultural as in forestry sector, but investments are needed to use the existing potentials. Production and use of bioenergy increases fuel security, helps meeting climate change mitigation targets and provides an incentive for investments in the agriculture sector creating jobs and income in rural regions. At the same time competition for agricultural land, reduction of food security and lack of acceptance in the neighborhood are often mentioned problems in the context of bioenergy.
Due to these problems sustainable biomass is a growing concern for energy utilities investing in bioenergy and for the public (bio-)energy procurement. In the Baltic Sea Region there are besides regional energy companies several transnational utilities with growing feedstock import shares. Many energy companies are developing or consider developing corporate sustainability schemes and in the public sector guidelines for sustainable energy procurement are discussed.
A panel of experts will discuss the questions of responsible investments in the field of bioenergy considering the following questions
1) Current state of good governance and corporate social responsibility in bioenergy investments?
2) What would be the advantages of it and how could public or private investors be motivated to consider Corporate Social Responsibility and Good Governance?
3) What would be the implications for the total investments in the sector?
4) How to use the existing procurement rules to integrate sustainable bioenergy concepts into public or private investment projects?
The aim is to encourage public and private investors to integrate sustainability principles and criteria in their tender specifications and corporate strategies. By introducing requirements for environmental sustainability in tender specifications, the demand from public authorities could significantly increase the market for sustainable biomass and bioenergy and drive technological innovation.