Once sustainability information from the factors
- Carbon Stock
- Land Use Change
- Social Indices
is estimated for a chosen assessment area within the GRAS Tool, the assessment area-specific GRAS Index is automatically calculated and displayed in the GRAS report. The GRAS Index can be regarded as the sum of the scores in the above-mentioned factors.
Users can utilize the score in the GRAS Index in several ways.First of all, it provides an independent instrument to evaluate and compare different first gathering points or farms/plantations around the globe. Secondly, several certification systems require their certification bodies to conduct risk assessments over the collecting point before the actual audit takes place. Depending on the risk assessment, the certification system can decide on:
- The frequency of surveillance audits
- The amount of farms/plantation delivering to the FGP that should be personally audited
- The period of validity of the certificate
In this context, the GRAS Index plays a major role in producing an automatic instrument to independently classify the sustainability risk in the assessment area. This will provide all stakeholders involved in the certification process with:
- More actual and reliable information
- An independent and easy-to-use source of information
Example: A first gathering point (FGP) in South America receives agricultural raw products from a defined assessment area. Thus, a percentage of No Go biodiversity areas, high carbon stock areas and identified LUC areas for the assessment area can be given as well as an overall score for social sustainability criteria for the administrative region where the assessment area is located.
The combination of
The weighting factors are set based on:
- Relative importance given to biodiversity, carbon stock, land use change and social factors inside the EU RED for the production of biomass
- Availability of comprehensive and reliable data
In addition to that, the WFSocial is set to 0 for countries that rank 0.9 or higher in the United Nation’s Human Development Index (HDI) or are EU-15 member states. The weighting factors are set as following:
|Factors||Weighting factor (WF)|
|Carbon stock||15 %|
|Land use change||35 %|
The GRAS Index classifies assessment areas according to their final scores as followed:
- Low Risk: the GRAS Index is lower than 0.2
- Medium Risk: the GRAS Index is included between 0.2 and 0.4
- High Risk: the GRAS Index is above 0.4
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.
How does GRAS work?
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