Result of a multidisciplinary team performance
GRAS has been developed in a joint effort of a multidisciplinary team over a period of more than two years. Meo Carbon Solutions has been in charge for managing the project, defining the overall concept based on a comprehensive understanding of market needs, and to merge the required expertise. Partners from Europe, USA and Canada, South America and South East Asia contributed to the development of GRAS, bringing in expertise in sustainability, remote sensing, biodiversity and carbon stock assessment, database management and geospatial IT-services.
Meo Carbon Solutions is an independent management consulting company with a special focus and a long working history in the area of sustainability, renewable resources, climate change and GHG emissions. Meo supports decision-makers in companies, politics and administration across the world in defining and implementing strategies with a view to what is practically feasible and effective. Meo has already carried out several consulting projects for public and private organizations regarding environmental and social sustainability issues, sustainable land use and land use change, remote sensing analysis, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity assessments and the implementation of improvement measures. Meo has also initiated and steered the development of ISCC in a multi-stakeholder process.
ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) is one of the leading certification systems for sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions. It was developed through an open stakeholder process involving associations, corporations, research institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). ISCC was the first global certification system that got recognised by a governmental authority. Since the start of the scheme more than 7.000 certificates have been issued in 92 countries. ISCC certification can be applied to all kinds of feedstock in the food and feed industry as well as the chemical industry and bioenergy market. During the GRAS system development, ISCC provided valuable practical experience regarding the potential issues of sustainability certification.
DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) is the national aeronautics and space research center of the Federal Republic of Germany. This includes the development of environment-friendly technologies for energy supply and future mobility, as well as for communications and security. DLR's research portfolio ranges from fundamental research to the development of products for tomorrow. DLR's experts had strong contribution in the development of the GRAS land use change algorithm.
The Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) is an international center for research in global economic affairs, economic policy consulting, and economic education. The Institute engages especially in creating solutions to urgent problems in global economic affairs. On basis of its research, the Institute advises decisionmakers in policy, business, and society and informs the broader public about important developments in international economic policy. Within this project IFW experts provided detailed carbon stock maps.
Genscape Inc., Louisville (KT), expertise covers many years of experience in evaluation, modeling and visualizing of remote sensing data. Today, Genscape delivers its unique brand of unsurpassed market intelligence across the commodity and energy spectrum: Power, Oil, Natural Gas, Petrochemical and NGL, Agriculture, Biofuels, and Maritime Freight. Among others Genscape is US-leader of RIN verification.
Wabion is an independent specialist for IT-services and software with great expertise and experience on groupware solutions and migration. Employing specialists for enterprise search, email and cloud services Wabion is Google Enterprise Partner and IBM Advanced Business Partner. Wabion is strongly involved in the development of the GRAS maps tool.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. TNC achieves its mission through the dedicated efforts of diverse staff, including 600 scientists, located in more than 35 countries as well as the help of many partners individuals, governments, local non-profit organisations and corporations. TNC is taking on responsible tasks facing conservation today — from climate change to coral reefs, to energy development in a growing world. TNC supported GRAS with the assessment of biodiversity databases in Brazil.
The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) is the department of the Government of Canada with responsibility for policies governing agriculture production, farming income, research and development, inspection, and the regulation of animals and plants.The activities of AAFC range from the farmer to the consumer, from the farm to global markets, through all phases of producing, processing and marketing of farm, food and bio-based products. AAFC helped GRAS in conducting groundtruthings in order to validate the results from GRAS' land use change detection methodology. AAFC also supported GRAS with the assessment of biodiversity and carbon stock information in Canada.
Our advisor, the German Welthungerhilfe, fights against global hunger and for sustainable food security. This incorporates the promotion of agriculture suited to local conditions, access to clean water, the provision of modern, environmentally friendly energy and the improvement of health and education. Welthungerhilfe advised the development of the GRAS social factor and will take part in its further development.
The Energy Resources Center (ERC) of the University of Illinois at Chicago is an interdisciplinary public service, research, and special projects organization dedicated to improving energy efficiency and the environment. The ERC provides expertise in the areas of energy efficiency, distributed generation, utilities billing management, and biofuels and bioenergy. Together with Genscape the ERC developed the split-screen land use assessment tool implemented in GRAS for the USA.
Casa da Floresta is a Brazilian company specialized in studies of biodiversity and sustainability. With 15 years of experience and a team of scientific specialists and researchers, Casa da Floresta is recognized for conducting assessments in the various biomes and ecosystems of Brazil and providing high-quality environmental consultancy. Casa da Floresta supported GRAS with on-site biodiversity assessments in Brazil.
News and events
GRAS is mentioned in an article of the recent issue of Biofuels International. The article presents how GRAS is used by the well-established certification scheme for support of its Integrity Program. The full article can be found here.
March 15th 2017
GRAS at the COP22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh
Marrakesh, November 12th 2016.
How business can tackle deforestation
GRAS is co-sponsoring the conference "How business can tackle deforestation", which will take place in Washington DC on April 3rd-4th 2017. The conference will provide practical guidance for the development and implementation of zero deforestation policies for business. More information can be found here.
Washington DC, April 3rd-4th 2017
Geo-Information for Palm Oil
GRAS has co-organized the workshop "Geo-information for palm oil" at the Insitut of Computer Science of the University of Osnabrück. The workshop discussed the use of SAR remote sensing data in the palm oil research. More information can be found here.
Osnabrück, February 8th 2017
Copernicus Master 2016
GRAS for sustainable palm oil production
GRAS and its strategic role for supporting sustainable palm oil production are presented in the article "Sustainability as a Success Factor for Palm Oil Producers Supplying the European Vegetable Markets" in the issue Vol. 16(1) 2016 of the Peer Reviewed Journal Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal (OPIEJ).
GRAS for sustainable biofuels
GRAS has presented on the fifth annual seminar of "Sustainability of Biofuels" of the German Association for Bioenergy (BBE) and the Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP).
Berlin, November 17th 2016.
GRAS as easy tool for identification of land use change
GRAS is mentioned in an article in Biofuels International discussing the successful implementation of EU policy in the sustainability certification of biofuels for the EU market. In particular, in the article is described how auditors and companies can access GRAS to detect land use change, verify the protection of no-go areas and implement no-deforestation commitments.
GRAS at EEB's Action for Nature Conference in Brussels
GRAS has given a presentation on "The Use of Satellite Imagery and Remote Sensing" at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) Conference Action for Nature to be held in Brussels. The presentation will be part of the session "Better Enforcement of EU Environmental Laws".
Brussels, September 14th 2016.
Advantages of GRAS in the cosmetics and detergents sector
GRAS is presented in the article "Deforestation-free and traceable supply chains for the production of sustainable surfactants" in the July/August issue of the International Peer Reviewed Journal Household and Personal Care Today.
GRAS at EEB Annual Conference 2016 in Vienna
Vienna, September 26th 2016.
How companies can implement and monitor their no-deforestation commitments
GRAS is presented in an article of eco-business as a possible solution for companies to implement and monitor their zero-deforestation commitments. The GRAS Tool provides comprehensive sustainability-related information on biodiversity, carbon stock, land use change and social indices.
GRAS as a tool to guarantee sustainable bioenergy
GRAS is presented in an article in the EU Bioenergy blog discussing the verification and monitoring of sustainable biomass production. The GRAS Tool is described as one of the solutions to guarantee that biomass is produced sustainably and that biodiveristy and carbon stock areas are protected.
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