A New Benchmarking: ProTerra Foundation vs. ISCC

A benchmarking exercise, process of comparing different systems for sustainability certification, is a valuable tool to create synergies. It supports certification systems to reduce burdens and costs, identifies opportunities for collaboration and recognizes mutual efforts wherever possible.

We are happy to announce the just released results of the latest benchmark process between ProTerra Foundation and the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC).

What is ISCC?

ISCC[1] is an independent, globally applicable certification system for sustainability, which aims at providing sustainability solutions for fully traceable and deforestation free supply chains. ISCC’s core principles focus on a balanced set of ecological and social criteria[2]. It operates different certification systems for different markets, for instance:

  • ISCC EU is a certification system to demonstrate compliance with the legal sustainability requirements specified in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Fuel Quality Directive (FQD).
  • ISCC PLUS is a certification system for all markets and sectors not regulated by the RED or FQD, such as the food, feed, chemical and energy markets and for technical applications. Under ISCC PLUS, all types of agricultural and forestry raw materials, waste and residues, non-bio renewables and recycled carbon materials and fuels are covered.

Benchmarking process and main results

On our side, we used as Indicators the principles of ProTerra Standard, version 4.1:

  • Principle 1 – Compliance with law and the ProTerra Standard;
  • Principle 2 – Human Rights and responsible labour policies and practices;
  • Principle 3 – Responsible relations with workers and community;
  • Principle 4 – Biodiversity conservation, effective environmental management and environmental services;
  • Principle 5 – No use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO);
  • Principle 6 – Pollution and waste management;
  • Principle 7 – Water management;
  • Principle 8 – Greenhouse gases and energy management;
  • Principle 9 – Adoption of good agricultural practices;
  • Principle 10 – Traceability and Chain of Custody.

On ISCC side, the documents[3] and add-on used for the exercise were:

  • ISCC EU System Document 202 “Sustainability Requirements“. It applies equally for ISCC EU and ISCC PLUS and provides information on the sustainability requirements for farms/plantations;
  • The ISCC EU System Document 203 “Traceability and Chain of Custody” covers the requirements for the traceability and chain of custody applicable to all elements of the supply chain of sustainable materials that have to be covered by certification;
  • ISCC PLUS 205-01 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions ;
  • ISCC PLUS 205-03: Non-GMO Food/Feed.

One of the outcomes from this exercise is shown on the graph below, that shows the percentage of alignment between ProTerra Indicators against ISCC’s  .

A New Benchmarking ProTerra Foundation vs. ISCC

[1] https://www.iscc-system.org/

[2] https://www.iscc-system.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Overview-ISCC-PLUS-EN.pdf

[3] https://www.iscc-system.org/process/audit-and-certification-process/iscc-system-documents/