Introduction to PalmGHGThe RSPO greenhouse gas calculator for oil palm products RSPO PalmGHG training workshop 6th – 7th December 2012 Kuala Lumpur Laurence Chase Llorenç Milà i Canals Cécile Bessou Melissa Chin
Workstream 1 Measuring, monitoring & reporting operational GHG emissionsAmir Faizal Naidu Abdul-Manan, fuels scientist, Shell Global Solutions Sdn. Bhd.Cécile Bessou (lead author), Ph.D., researcher at CIRADJean-Pierre Caliman, Ph.D., producer, Director of the SMART-Research InstituteLaurence Chase, MSc., Independent Consultant in Tropical AgricultureSau Soon Chen, Assoc. Prof. Ph.D., SIRIM Environmental & Bioprocess TechnologyCentreShabbir Gheewala, Prof. Ph.D., researcher at the Joint Graduate School of Energyand Environment, King Mongkut’s University of TechnologyIan E. Henson, Ph.D., Independent Consultant in Tropical AgricultureSimon Lord, Ph.D., producer, Group Director of Sustainability, New Britain Palm OilLlorenç Mila-i-Canals, Ph.D., researcher at Unilever R&DPavithra Ramani, Project manager in agricultural commodities, with focus in thepalm oil and biofuel sectors at ProforestBambang H. Saharjo, Prof. Ph.D., consultant for Sawit Watch, NGOMukesh Sharma, Ph.D., producer, Head of R&D at the Asian Agri GroupAdrian Suharto, producer, Sustainability Manager, Neste Oil Singapore Pte Ltd
What is PalmGHG?The PalmGHG calculator provides an estimate of the netGHG emissions produced during the palm oil productionchain by quantifying the major forms of carbon emissionsand sequestration from a mill and its supply base (estate andout-growers)Developed by WS1 based onChase & Henson (2010)Based on LCA approach (ISO14044) and a review ofguidelines/tools
What is PalmGHG?The emissions are presented as t CO2 equivalents(CO2e), per hectare and per unit of product: i.e. per tonneof Crude Palm Oil (CPO) and per tonne of Crude PalmKernel Oil (CPKO).The content of the calculator and the features of the toolhave been discussed within the whole GHG WorkingGroup 2
Important featuresa) Flexibility: I. Adoption of different crop rotation lengths and possible choice of oil palm growth data II. It allows use of alternatives to the standard defaults III. It allows for the calculation of GHG for CPO and PKOb) It caters for CO2 emissions from land use change and peat soils managementc) It allocates total net emissions between co-productsd) It calculates annual net emissions per ha and per tonne of palm product; may be updated yearlye) It allows for scenario testing
Usage of PalmGHG The main purposes of the tool are:• Identification of hotspots in the life cycle of palm oil products, with the aim of guiding GHG reduction opportunities;• Internal monitoring of GHG emissions;• Reporting to RSPO of progress towards GHG reduction plans;• Exploring the relationship between resource use (e.g., fertilizer) efficiency and carbon emissions, as all the relevant information is provided.
PalmGHG Calculator Implementation• GHG emission hotspots in the case of mill C1 (Previous land use: shrub/grassland, 25% peat soils in estate) ▫ Peat emissions, CH4 from effluent, land clearing, fertilisers 1. Identify ▫ Main difference between estate and outgrowers: peat area Hotspots
PalmGHG Calculator Implementation 2. Improvement Opportunities • Opportunities to reduce peat emissions ▫ Implement peat Best Management Practices: water table… (5-10%; 2-3 yr) ▫ Select peat-free (and low C) areas to expand production ▫ Progressively abandon and restore current plantation on peat (43%; 15 yr+) • Addressing POME methane emissions ▫ Capture and combustion with heat and electricity recovery…? (20-25%; 2-3yr) • Increasing efficiency of mill, energy recovery… • Fertilisers ▫ Optimise fertilisers for yield increase and reduction of N2O ▫ Yield increase tends to reduce overall impact as “fixed” emissions from clearing are divided over bigger output• Address key knowledge gaps identified! ▫ Land clearing history; data from out growers; biomass value for former land uses; etc.
PalmGHG Calculator Implementation• Technological opportunities balanced with 3. GHG reduction GHG reduction opportunity; cost; funding targets opportunities (CDM; Carbon trading schemes; REDD+?...)• Plan project implementation pipeline• Step-wise reduction targets ▫ More stretchy reduction targets for higher emissions (more low hanging fruit) ▫ OK to maintain emissions when GHG intensity is already very low• Go public!
PalmGHG Calculator Implementation 4. Monitor Progress • Updating PalmGHG with relevant new data is straightforward ▫ Land clearing in current year ▫ Fertiliser use and diesel use ▫ Changes in POME technology? ▫ … • Then plot the annual variation in GHG emissions progress against GHG reduction plan
PalmGHG Calculator Implementation 5. Report &• Information can be used for company-based Communicate reporting ▫ Sustainability reports ▫ Carbon Disclosure Project? ▫ Information requests from stakeholders: customers; regulators (e.g. RED; UK Government); investors (e.g. Stock Exchange; Banks) ; etc.• or shared within RSPO for RSPO communications: ▫ GHG intensity of CSPO vs. non-certified oil? ▫ Effects of certification on GHG emissions?
PalmGHG benefits • Efficiency in GHG reductions • Robust communication and reporting • Consistency of measurement • Scientific leadership
PalmGHG: Scope, systemboundary and life cycle inventory
The emission sources included in thecalculator are:• Land clearing;• Manufacture of fertilisers and transport to the plantation;• Nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide from the field application of fertilisers, mill by-products and other organic sources such as palm litter;• Fossil fuel used in the field• Fossil fuel used at the mill;• Methane produced from palm oil mill effluent (POME); and• Carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide generated by the cultivation on peat soils.
The following GHG fixation and credits areconsidered:• Carbon dioxide fixed by oil palm trees, ground cover and carbon sequestered in plantation litter;• Carbon dioxide fixed by biomass in conservation areas;• GHG emissions avoided by the selling of mill energy by- products (e.g. electricity sold to the grid; palm kernel shell sold to industrial furnaces).
Items that are not included are• nursery stage;• pesticide treatments;• fuel used for land clearing;• emissions embedded in infrastructure and machinery; and• sequestration of carbon in palm products and by-products. These items are generally negligible GHG sources or sinks
• Provision is made for separate budgets for a mills own crop (usually produced on estates) and an out-grower crop (such as produced by smallholders).• PalmGHG uses the annualized emission and sequestration data to estimate the net GHG balance for the palm products from both own and out-grower crops at an individual mill.• Emissions from the biomass cleared at the beginning of the crop cycle are averaged over the cycle.• Emissions from the other sources are averaged over the three years up to and including the reporting date.• The estimates can be updated on a yearly basis to reflect changes in operating conditions and the growth of palms.
Allocation• Allocation of the net emissions of CO2e between CPO and PK, then subsequently between Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) and Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE), is carried out according to the relative masses of these co-products.• Allocation by mass is only the second option according to the ISO standards (ISO 14044, 2006); however, allocation by mass has been used in PalmGHG in order to provide stable results for all co-products as they leave the product system (mill).• System expansion is used for other by-products (electricity; kernel shells exported for energy).
Life cycle inventory: Land clearing• GHG emissions from land clearing is averaged over a full crop cycle in PalmGHG.• Total emissions occurring each year by new plantings is estimated, added up, and finally divided by the number of years in the average crop cycle (the default is 25) to obtain an average emission per ha per year.• The crop cycle length is defined by users and can differ between “own crops” and “out-growers” and between crops on mineral soils and those on peat soil (which are often shorter due to ground subsidence, palm leaning and higher sensitivity to pest and diseases)• PalmGHG only considers direct land use change
Life cycle inventory: Land clearingValues for ten previous land uses are currently available inPalmGHG. These values will be updated with the values provided by WS3 once these are peer reviewed and published (Agus et al. in preparation).
Life cycle inventory: Crop sequestration• Data for carbon sequestration in the crop can be obtained from different sources.• The preferred option is to base them on direct measurements, but if this is not possible, modelled data may be used instead.• The PalmGHG currently uses OPRODSIM and OPCABSIM (Henson, 2005; Henson, 2009), which are specifically designed to estimate oil palm and associated biomass in the plantation (litter and ground cover) by generating growth curves based on climate and soil data, largely based on Malaysian conditions.• Alternative models are provided by Indonesian studies of van Noordwijk et al., (2010), recently updated by Khasanah et al. (2012) and included as part of the Excel-based RSPO/ICRAF Carbon stock calculator (Harja et al., 2012). Data from these models may be included as options in PalmGHG.
Life cycle inventory: Crop sequestration• OPRODSIM and OPCABSIM produce annual values of standing biomass for the oil palms (above and below- ground), ground cover, frond piles and other plantation litter (shed frond bases and male inflorescences) and provide estimates of the nitrogen recycled in litter and ground cover that can be used to calculate values for the N2O emissions from these sources• Contrasting simulation scenarios of crop sequestration are used as default estimates for mill own crops (vigourous) and out-growers (average) to reflect differences in biomass growth and yields.
Life cycle inventory: Conservation areasequestration• Sequestration of carbon where vegetation is being conserved on land that would otherwise be used for oil palm. These areas do not include those that are set aside due to legal requirements.• No default values are provided, as carbon sequestered will depend on the type and maturity of the vegetation, and on climatic, management and soil factors.• Growers reporting sequestration in these conservation areas will need to carefully assess the annual sequestration, most likely supported by field measurements.• This is an aspect that is still under consideration by RSPO in the light of international mechanisms such as UN’s REDD (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation).
Life cycle inventory: Field emissionsEmissions due to fertiliser production, transport and use• Provision is given for nine widely used synthetic fertilisers and two organic ones (EFB and POME) but additional fertiliser types can be included by the user if required.• For synthetic fertilisers, emissions consist of i) upstream emissions due to their manufacture ii) transport from production sites to the field; iii) direct field emissions linked to physical and microbial processes in the soil, and iv) indirect field emissions following re-deposition of previous direct field emissions.• PalmGHG assumes by default that the whole amounts of EFB and POME generated in the mill are used as fertilisers in the plantation.
Life cycle inventory: Field emissionsEmissions due to field operations• Emissions due to field operations that arise from fossil fuel consumed by machinery used for transport and other field operations• Total field fuel used encompasses the fuel used for the transport of workers and materials, including the spreading of fertilisers, the transport of FFB from the growing areas to the mill, and maintenance of field infrastructure.• For convenience, users are required to simply include all the fuel used by the whole plantation over a specific period of time rather than separating fuel use for specific operations.
Life cycle inventory: Field emissionsEmissions from peat cultivation• Emissions from peat cultivation include CO2 emissions due to the oxidation of organic carbon and associated N2O emissions.• WS2 (Peatland Working Group) of the RSPO GHG WG 2 intensively reviewed the impacts of peat cultivation on GHG emissions and identified best management practices for oil palm cultivation on peat soils (RSPO PLWG, 2012).• In their findings, the authors put emphasis on the importance of restricting the water table depth to limit CO2 emissions from peat land.
Life cycle inventory: Field emissionsEmissions from peat cultivation• Effective water management is key to high oil palm productivity on peat• Higher water levels would reduce GHG emissions and subsidence• However, if the water table is too high, it will result in the leaching of fertiliser into the groundwater and reduced productivity• Good practice for oil palm on peat is one that can effectively maintain a water-level of 50-70 cm (below the bank in collection drains) or 40-60 cm (groundwater piezometer reading) from the surface in the plantation
Life cycle inventory: Field emissionsEmissions from peat cultivation• In PalmGHG, 80 cm as the default drainage depth without active water table management or 60 cm if there is an active water table management• RSPO’s BMP on peat strongly recommends that regular water level monitoring is carried out by installing numbered water level gauges. Guidance is also provided for in the BMP.• Users are also encouraged to input actual measurement data into the PalmGHG.
Life cycle inventory: Mill emissions• At the mill level, two main sources of GHG emissions are considered, fossil fuel consumption and methane (CH4) production by POME.• The user is required to enter the mill’s total diesel consumption of the previous three years, and the average is used.• Methane emissions from POME vary according to the treatment applied. The amount of methane produced per unit of untreated POME is reduced if the methane is captured and then either flared or used as a fuel to generate electricity.• Both the amount of POME and the amount of methane are quite variable depending on the conditions in the mill; the user is encouraged to use more representative values if e.g. volume of POME is measured, and / or values of its organic (COD) load are available.
Life cycle inventory: Mill emissions• Calculations of CH4 production and amounts and losses during digestion, flaring, or electricity production are based on factors from Schmidt (2007) and the Environment Agency (2002).• The corresponding emissions avoided by the use of the methane-generated electricity are calculated using the mean of the electricity emission factors for Indonesia and Malaysia (RFA, 2008).• A further credit is given to the user if excess palm kernel shell is sold for use as a substitute for coal in industrial furnaces.
PalmGHG Pilot TestA pilot study of an initial version of PalmGHG was carriedout in 2011 with eight mills belonging to six RSPOmember or aspiring member companies, to determine itsease of use and suitability as a management tool.
PalmGHG pilotObjectives of the pilot• To allow growers to experiment with the tool: how can it be used and what can it be used for?• To test the consistency of the calculator: are all needed data available?• To gather feedback from users to outline improvement needs and development priorities
Overview of pilot resultsMills Mean Outgrowers Peat Previous land use tCO2e/tCPO tFFB/ha included soilsA1 23 no no shrub 0.05A2 24 no no shrub -0.07B 26 no no cocoa, oil palm 0.79C1 23 yes 25% grassland, shrub 0.73C2 19 yes 80% grassland, shrub 2.46F 19 no no logged forest, oil palm 1.85G 26 yes no wide range from logged forest to 1.15 arable cropsH 17 yes no logged forest 1.35
Net emissions for pilot mills A1 0.05 A2 -0.07 B 0.79 Pilot companies C1 0.73 C2 2.46 F 1.85 G 1.15 H 1.35 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 t CO2e/t CPO
Pilot results: Example of mill C1 base case Main emission hot spots are “land clearing”, “peat emissions”, and “methane emissions from POME”. N-fertiliser production and N-related field emissions are also major sources of GHG. 2 1.5 1 43% 52% 0.78t CO2e/tCPO 26% 28% 0.5 14% 12% 9% 8% 5% -1 0.02 0% 2% 1% -1.12 0 Land Peat CH4 Mill Fuel N2O Ferti. Field Fuel Elec. Seq. Net Em. Clearing -0.5 -1 Estate Out-growers -1.5 -2
Pilot mill C1: Combining estate & outgrowers 1.20 1.00 0.96 0.91 +32% 0.80 0.73 +/- 25%tCO2e/tCPO 0.60 0.55 - 60% 0.40 0.30 0.30 0.26 0.20 0.00 Base case Grassland Shrub Flaring of Electricity Low peat High Peat biogas from biogas emissions (10 emissions (30 t/ha/yr) t/ha/yr)
Pilot mill G: Base case 2.00 63.8% 1.50 1.15 1.00 25.6% 0.50t CO2e/t CPO 2.2% 3.4% 3.6% 1.0% -1.64 0.4% 0% 0.00 Land Peat CH4 Mill Fuel N2O Ferti. Field Fuel Elec. Seq. Net Em. Clearing -0.50 -1.00 -1.50 -2.00
Pilot mill G:Capture methane and convert into electricity
Pilot Mill G:100% replant, capture CH4 and convert into electricity, reducedoutgrower sequestration by 10%
Scenario testingPalmGHG allows manipulation of input data to testeffects of management interventions.
Scenario testingBase case 1: mixed previous land uses, peat 3%, no POMEtreatment, OER 20.8%, estate 20.2 tFFB/ha, outgrowers 14.2 tFFB/ha 5.09 Net emissions tCO2e/tCPO 1.58 0.71 0.27 0.24 -0.62
Feedback from Pilot phase• Availability of data on previous land use, and more generally for smallholders, can be a challenge• Some users asked for Conservation Areas to be included, but the methodology is not yet fully developed• Peat emission calculations may be too general, as emissions are likely to vary with peat type (fibrous vs woody)• Difficulty in obtaining data from contractors.
Peer Review of PalmGHG• The PalmGHG has been reviewed following the provisions in ISO 14044 (requirements and guidelines for LCA)• The peer review was undertaken between July-October 2012• The critical review panel was coordinated by Ms. Monica Skeldon (Deloitte Consulting LLP, USA), and consisted of ▫ Jannick H. Schmidt, 2.-0 LCA consultants , Denmark ▫ Jacob Madsen, Deloitte Consulting LLP, USA ▫ Thomas Fairhurst, Tropical Crop Consultants Ltd., UK
Main Challenges from Peer Review• LCA (Life rules Assessment) specifics Cycle ▫ Allocation ▫ System boundaries ▫ Sensitivity; uncertainty• Land UseIndirect LUC Change (LUC) and C fixation ▫ Direct vs. ▫ C fixation in palms and Conservation areas• Usability andused Auditing ▫Default values ▫ Ensuring traceability of input data
Next Steps• The Beta version is now posted on the RSPO website to encourage testing and feedback• The Beta version will be updated at regular intervals to incorporate results of feedback, defaults to be provided by WS3, and other options such as alternative methane calculations• Decisions are to be made on the incorporation of biodiesel calculations.• The Beta version will be reworked by a professional programmer during 2013 to make it more user-friendly.