Drax has strengthened its biomass sustainability policy and set up an Independent Advisory Board (IAB) of scientists, academics and forestry experts to ensure the biomass the company uses to generate renewable electricity meets the highest standards.
In the updated policy, Drax has outlined how it will use the latest science and best practice and work with academic institutions and non-profit organisations to meet its core commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, protect the natural environment, support people and communities and carry out research and outreach.
Drax also details the evidence the company will gather to increase transparency on its biomass sourcing and impacts. These include using big data and satellite images to evaluate the impact on forest cover and biodiversity in areas that supply the biomass the company uses.
“We’re committed to continuously raising standards in biomass sustainability, so our sourcing policies must evolve as the science develops,” said CEO Will Gardiner.
“With stronger policies in place and an independent board to challenge us every step of the way, we will be setting the standard for others to follow, which is important as sustainable biomass plays an increasing role in addressing climate change.”
The UK government’s former Chief Scientific Adviser Sir John Beddington will chair the six-member IAB, which will provide independent advice to Drax in all areas of its biomass sourcing including procurement practises and feedstock options.