GoodChips®, the First International Certification for Wood Chips and Hog Fuel

Oregon Department of Forestry / Flickr

Bioenergy Europe announced today the launch of GoodChips®, the first international certification scheme for the quality of wood chips and hog fuel. “The creation of the GoodChips® certification responds to a long-standing demand from the industry,” says Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary General of Bioenergy Europe. “The booming of the market in recent years brought in all kinds of new players, and the need for a trustworthy, independent way to distinguish companies implementing best practices and focussing on quality products is now quite palpable.” In Europe, for instance, wood chips represent today 50% of all solid biomass used for energy purposes, making it one of the most popular commodity in this sector. Yet, and even though it has been traded worldwide for decades, no certification scheme had been created so far with an international scope. “The market has been basically developing without a proper quality framework, and GoodChips® aims at correcting this structural flaw,” summarised Mr. Jossart.

The creation of GoodChips® is the result of an extensive consultation process with the various components of the wood chips sector, from producers to traders, through boiler manufacturers and consumer associations. The outcome is a comprehensive, 12-class scheme (8 for wood chips and 4 for hog fuel), addressing every producer and end-user profile, from industrial to domestic use. The creation of GoodChips® is also good news from an end-user’s perspective, as the scheme is expected to greatly simplify their choice by providing independent and trustworthy information about the products, that can easily be matched against their appliance’s specifications.

Led and managed by the team behind the success of ENplus®, the world-leading wood pellet certification, GoodChips® also operates as a third-party certification scheme. In practice, this means that the conformity assessment is done by external certification bodies, accredited and listed by GoodChips®, who perform their duties in complete independence, not only from GoodChips® International Management, but also from each other.

With a balanced and progressive fee structure, GoodChips® was designed to encompass the variety of profiles active in the industry, and does not limit itself to the biggest players only. Concretely, a fixed fee of €500 will apply to certified volumes lower than 5.000 tonnes, with a standard fee of €0,10 per tonne for larger ones. Discounts will then apply for volumes superior to 40.000 tonnes certified, and again beyond 80.000 tonnes. Moreover, companies joining the scheme in 2018 and 2019 will receive an additional 30% discount valid through 2021.

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