The SFR approach to sustainability reporting is to be as accurate and transparent as possible. This is really important from the biomass industry standpoint as we try and win friends with environmental groups and the general public. Our view is that to fully comply with the sustainability criteria and, therefore, meet your ongoing RHI obligations, your greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) figure needs to be as accurate as possible.
In our application process, we allow applicants the option to estimate different elements of the fuel chain. For a first application, it is reasonable to estimate some of the inputted figures, e.g. the best guess, for the amount of diesel used in the harvest of the fuel. However, in the future, applicants should make a note of the different sections that are relevant to their supply chain and keep accurate records.
You will have to introduce protocols into your routine, for instance keeping a record of the number of buckets of fuel moved from an intermediate store into a hopper and moisture contents of the fuel at different stages of processing and use. At first, this may seem onerous but once you get used to the routine it will become second nature.
You’ll also need to make sure that the contractor harvesting your crop is prepared to give you details of the amount of fuel used in harvesting and extraction of your fuel. This information is really important to producing a reliable GHG emissions figure. You really need this information, so if they are not prepared to provide it you should get another contractor who is.
At any point within the 20 years of your RHI agreement, you may be audited. Keeping accurate records is the key to making this process as simple and hassle-free as possible.