RSB and Bioledger on March 12 launched a case study on the potential of a blockchain database to support traceability of biofuel and its feedstocks and overcome the vulnerabilities identified in securing the supply of sustainable renewables.
Download the Case Study here.
The proposed solution — a blockchain database that enables verifiable proof of origin, secure consignment creation, process simplification, audit efficiency, data integrity, and central governance — was prototyped and trialed with project partners to process a total of 1.93 million liters of feedstock, accurately representing real-life commercial and operational processes. The project was made possible by a grant from the ISEAL Innovations Fund, which is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
To evaluate the efficiency and suitability of the database, the prototype was piloted by four partners involved in the production and distribution of fuels made from used cooking oil (UCO). These partners were Greenergy (UK), Europe’s largest waste-based biodiesel producer; Rexon Energy (Singapore), an exporter of UCO to the EU; Bensons Products (UK), a UCO collector; and Valley Proteins (USA), a UCO collector and exporter.
By piloting the approach with such a diverse group of partners, the project was able to identify recommendations and observations to build out a full database to be used by industry globally to improve transparency and control in certified sustainable biofuel supply chains.
This blockchain prototype was recommended by industry stakeholders as one of the most comprehensive, credible and robust biofuel databases available to the European Commission, which is looking to develop a Union Database as part of EU RED II implementation.
RSB and Bioledger aim to support the biofuel sector in the EU and beyond to have confidence in the provenance of the fuels they use — that they are truly sustainable, that supply chains are transparent and that they are having a real, positive impact on the climate crisis.
Both organizations continue to engage with industry and regulatory stakeholders towards ensuring that the technical capabilities to mitigate fraud, restore trust, and build transparency — as outlined in this report — are integrated into industry standards and digital platforms such as the RED II database for renewable road transport fuel and international sustainable aviation fuel.
Bioledger is utilizing the lessons gained from the pilot project to provide a new blockchain database for the biofuels market, and RSB and Bioledger are committed to building upon the lessons learnt through this project and making such a database — based on the principles of transparency, sustainability, and good governance — a reality.
“RSB is committed to supporting the transition to low carbon transport. Transparent and credible supply chain data is key to giving confidence in biofuels and low carbon fuels,” explained RSB Executive Director Rolf Hogan. “This project has been a great opportunity to work with Bioldeger to look at how to apply the highest standards of sustainability with a user-friendly and sophisticated database that will build transparency and confidence in the market.”
Patrick Lynch, CEO of Bioledger, was similarly optimistic, remarking on the effectiveness of the collaboration involved, “This blockchain project was successful thanks to the partner’s commitment to reach consensus on the rules and functionality that would bind them all equally in a digital marketplace – that is a fairly unique achievement for a blockchain database that spans competitors and partners in a global supply chain.”
Project pilot partner Greenergy added their support with COO Paul Bateson saying, “Greenergy has always chosen to take a pioneering role in the development of sustainable biofuel supply chains and the methods we use to evaluate and verify their sustainability. Since 2007, we have carried out significant work on traceability, initially for Brazilian bioethanol and sugarcane audits, and then for used cooking oil audits to demonstrate traceability back to the restaurant. We recognise the importance of technological innovation to help drive continuous improvement, and we support RSB and Bioledger in the introduction of a state-of-the-art blockchain database that will improve the efficiency of data collection and management.”
ISEAL’s Director of Programmes, Kristin Komives highlighted the power of the project to solve real and urgent challenges in the race to decarbonize, “This project is a clear example of how ambitious sustainability systems are leveraging technology to improve data integrity and security in global supply chains. ISEAL members like RSB are leading the way in exploring how blockchain can support regulatory compliance and strengthen the reliability and value proposition of market-based sustainability tools.”
Other key stakeholders who provided support and contributions to the project are the MVO (Dutch Oils and Fats Industry), the EWABA (European Waste-to-Advanced Biofuels Association), the EBB (European Biodiesel Board), the European Commission, Peterson Control Union, SCS Global Services, and Oracle Consulting Services.
Secretary General of EWABA, Angel Alvarez Alberdi, celebrated the project, saying, “Bioledger and RSB have built upon the waste-based biodiesel industry’s collective knowledge and experience with highly complex supply chains to provide a state of the art solution that significantly improves traceability and transparency in the market.”