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ISCC PLUS – An International, Practical and Transparent System to Certify Biomass, Recyclables and Their Products

Quality InsightsOctober 20, 2023

What are ISCC and ISCC PLUS? We outline both and explain the benefits to you and the world.

What is ISCC?

International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) is an independent, multi-stakeholder initiative and leading certification system that supports sustainable, fully traceable, deforestation-free and climate-friendly supply chains.

ISCC provides clear chain of custody (COC) approaches with certification of the entire supply chain, from the raw material supplier to the brand owner receiving ISCC licensing to support its claims.

The scheme has site-specific certificates across material cultivation/collection and processing, as well as final product distribution. Annual recertification is required.

ISCC's zero-deforestation policy ensures the protection of forests, high-carbon stock lands and biodiversity.

ISCC developed the ISCC PLUS certification scheme as part of its services.

What is ISCC PLUS?

ISCC PLUS is a sustainable certification scheme for bio-based, renewable and circular raw materials. It can help you demonstrate your voluntary implementation of sustainability goals on a global scale. 

It also interconnects the entire supply chain, from cultivation, plastic recycling and electrolysis to plastic or chemical manufacturers and brand owners of final products.

Originating in the biofuel sector, ISCC PLUS is closely related to the European Commission’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) and is well-established to offer solutions that address sustainability requirements for numerous feedstocks and all markets.

ISCC PLUS can help you switch from a linear to circular economy, one that avoids incineration and landfill, and adopts recycling and reusing materials and components.

Clear chains of custody and traceability strengthen consumer trust and can help you to work toward a sustainable future.

ISCC PLUS enables your organization to demonstrate its will to act responsibly while securing sustainability throughout supply chains.

Voluntary add-ons include:

  • Environmental management and biodiversity
  • Classified chemicals
  • Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Gold
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Consumables
  • Food security
  • Genetically modified organism (GMO) free food and feed
  • GMO-free products for technical markets

Who is it for?

Organizations and raw material suppliers, producers and brand owners that deal with:

  • Agricultural and forestry biomass
  • Bio-based waste and residues from agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and processing industries
  • Fossil waste and residues for the circular economy
  • Renewable energy

It covers all industrial applications, including chemicals, packaging, plastics, food, feed and energy.

How can ISCC PLUS certification help your organization?

Certification follows successful completion of an audit and enables you to:

  • Demonstrate compliance with regulatory frameworks (e.g. EU Green Deal), national laws and industry-driven initiatives
  • Declare your product’s carbon footprint to help reduce GHG emissions
  • Support the protection of forests and biodiversity
  • Trace your sustainability efforts across your supply chain
  • Make realistic and verifiable claims
  • Demonstrate good corporate governance for better environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance
  • Increase sustainability ranking to access credits and loans, and improve ESG ratings on the stock market and attractiveness to investors
  • Access new markets and displace established (fossil fuel) products with recycled or bio-based products
  • Meet customer expectations through sustainably produced products

How can SGS help?

As the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company, with decades of experience, we can help you along the path to certification with an ISCC PLUS audit.

We can provide:

  • Audits globally
  • Experienced auditors with an in-depth understanding of certification requirements
  • Audits in combination with other standards
  • Verification of GHG calculations
  • Extensive experience and a strong reputation in the certification industry

SGS Academy also offers a range of sustainability training courses, covering topics like the environment, energy, agriculture, food and ESG.

To learn more about ISCC and ISCC PLUS, Contact us.

For further information, please contact:

Jason Hulbert
Associate Marketing Manager
t: +44 7912426878

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for sustainability, quality and integrity. Our 98,000 employees operate a network of 2,650 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.

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