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Methodology

Once sustainability information from the factors

  • Biodiversity
  • 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.

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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)
Biodiversity 35 %
Carbon stock 15 %
Land use change 35 %
Social 15 %

 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

 

 

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