ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
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20 april 2023
EU Commission │ Expert Group on Carbon Removals

Kick Off Meeting on Carbon Removal

The first meeting of the Expert group on carbon removals took place on march 7th, in what was a departure point for the integration of carbon removals in the broader EU climate policy.
The meeting opened with the keynote speech by Prof. Edenhofer, director at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who predicted that carbon removals will dominate climate policy during the second half of this century. He also stressed that many interrogatives on carbon removal governance need to be addressed in the coming years and that certification of carbon removal activities does come with challenges of clear definitions, environmental integrity and carbon release management among others. Still, climate targets can be achieved only if carbon dioxide removal is considered. Following the keynote speech, specific panels covering industrial practices, carbon farming, long-lasting carbon storage products and the credibility of certification methods were held to set the scene for further discussion during future gatherings.
The next meeting is focusing on carbon farming methodologies and will take place in June, with the exact day yet to be confirmed. Soil, forests and peatlands are going to be the elements discussed.
The Expert group meetings are publicly live-streamed, and you can find the recording of this meeting and the panelists’ presentations on this page.
Open Letter I Soil Health Law Coalition

The ECN signs joint Open Letter for an ambitious Soil Health Law

The ECN was among the many signatories of the Soil Health Law Coalition open letter addressed to the College of Commissioners, joining forces to support the adoption of a progressive Soil Health Directive.
The letter represents an urgent call to action, given the key role that healthy soils play in reaching climate, biodiversity, water and zero pollution targets of the European Green Deal, as well as in supporting the EU’s Farm to Fork objectives and transition to a sustainable food system. The text also provides some general provisions that must be included in the upcoming proposal to make it fit for purpose and build a credible governance framework.
To read the full letter, please click here.
JRC │ Soil Health Dashboard

The Joint Research Centre develops a new tool to Map Soil State in Europe

The Soil Health Dashboard is the new EU-wide dataset created and run by the JRC in support of the upcoming Soil Health Law which is part of the EU Soil Strategy for 2030. This instrument is based on a set of 15 indicators and will serve to view the extent of degradation of European soils as well as the causes that led to that state. According to the evidence currently available, a distressing 61% of soils in Europe are in an unhealthy state. As if it was not shocking enough, this is in all likelihood an underestimation only based on the soil degradation indicators available. A new feature is also the setting of threshold values to determine whether soils are in healthy or unhealthy conditions, representing an estimate to the point beyond which most soils can be deemed vulnerable to certain processes. Some thresholds may not be accurate, since there are many different types of soils, but the objective is to improve the reliability of the map by applying local thresholds or leaving the option open to users to create maps based on what they consider the most appropriate ones.
EU Commission │ Taxonomy

Commission asks for feedbacks on draft Environmental Taxonomy Delegated Act

On 5 April 2023, the Commission launched a four-week feedback period on a new set of EU taxonomy criteria for economic activities, making a substantial contribution to one or more of the non-climate environmental objectives.
These economic activities contribute to the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, the transition to a circular economy, pollution prevention and control, and the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems. Annex II of the Delegated Act focuses on those practices supporting the circular economy, and it includes relevant sections for the bio-waste sector. "Recovery of bio-waste by anaerobic digestion or composting” sets out the technical screening criteria that operating facilities for the treatment of separately collected bio-waste should comply with, such as: characterisation of input feedstock, quality assurance, best available techniques and nitrogen content. Important is also the section related to "manufacture of plastic packaging goods" where criteria are set also for packaging originating from biowaste feedstock as well as the use of compostable materials. Other chapters are dedicated to "Sorting and material recovery of non-hazardous waste" which includes also non-hazardous waste fractions originating from sorting of mixed waste intended for recycling, and “Phosphorus recovery from waste water”.
The public consultation is open for four weeks, until May 3.
EU Commission │ Green Claims

Commission tables Proposal to fight Greenwashing and Unsubstantiated Environmental Claims

On March 22, The European Commission took action on consumer protection by proposing common criteria against greenwashing and misleading environmental claims. The new draft Directive aims at empowering consumers to make better informed choices and play an active role in the ecological transition by tackling false and unreliable claims and ecolabels.
At present, consumers’ effective contribution to the green transition is hampered by barriers preventing them to make sustainable consumption choices at the point of sale, notably because of the lack of trust in the credibility of environmental messages – 230 different claims were identified just in the EU – and the proliferation of misleading practices related to a products environmental sustainability. This new proposal lays down common minimum rules to ensure that companies
make information available that backs up environmental claims, with additional requirements for comparative claims made against other product groups or sector activities. Moreover, it establishes transparency requirements for ecolabels, which will have to be verified by an independent third party and includes the Commission’s mandate to sets up a register of officially trusted labels to be used in the Union market.
The proposed directive included in the third circular economy package (together with the right to repair directive) takes the form of lex specialis, with its scope being limited to environmental claims not already covered by other EU legislation, explicitly excluding the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive among others.
The Green Claims Directive proposal will now be subject to the approval of the European Parliament and the Council.
EU Commission │ Net zero industry act

New Net Zero Industry Act Proposal to scale up clean Energy Transition

The European Commission published its brand-new proposal for a regulation aimed at strengthening Europe’s net-zero technology products manufacturing, together with a draft regulation on critical raw materials.
The proposed law aims at speeding up permitting and increasing access to finance for technology sectors which are crucial to meet the climate neutrality goals set for 2050. Supported technologies include solar, wind, batteries and storage, heat pumps and geothermal energy, electrolysers and fuel cells, biogas/biomethane, carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and grid technologies. Currently, Europe is a net importer of these technologies, and this Commission’s proposal revolves on 4 pillars to turn the tables around: a predictable and simplified regulatory environment, faster access to funding, enhancing skills and open trade for a resilient supply chain.
The Critical Raw Material Act proposal develops a framework aiming at ensuring a secure and sustainable supply of critical and strategic non-energy and non-agricultural raw materials. The proposal focuses on those inputs that are crucial for strategic sectors, but are subject to high supply risks and often come with negative social and environmental impacts in their extraction and processing procedures.
Trilogue │ Renewable Energy

Council Presidency and EP Negotiators reach Provisional Agreement on RED revision

After several trilogue meetings and delays, the Council and Parliament negotiators finally came to a provisional agreement to raise the share of renewable energy in the EU’s overall energy consumption.
The target set in the commonly agreed text of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) revision is a 42.5% share of renewable sources in EU energy consumption by 2030 with an additional 2.5% indicative top up that would allow reaching 45%. The goal has been increased to align with the ambitious climate targets that the EU set to become climate neutral by 2050.
The struck deal is also speeding up procedures to grant permits for new renewable energy projects, but also to adapt existing plants, with a maximum period fixed at 18 months for national authorities to approve installations located in so-called ‘renewables go-to areas’. For areas falling outside of this category, the process can take up to 27 months max. These are specific locations, whether on land or sea, particularly suitable for the installation of plants for the production of energy from renewable sources, other than biomass combustion plants, where the deployment of a specific type of renewable energy is not expected to have significant environmental impacts.
Increased targets have been laid down for the transport sector (the possibility to choose between an emission reduction target or share of renewables) and set a binding combined sub-target of 5.5% for advanced biofuels (generally derived from non-food-based feedstocks). Increased targets for industry (annual 1.6% annually) and for heating and cooling (0.8% until 2026 and 1.1% from 2026 to 2030) have also been agreed upon.
When it comes to bioenergy, the sustainability criteria have been strengthened to avoid unsustainable energy production, with the application of the cascading principle to make sure that biomass is used according to its highest economic and environmental added value.
After almost two years from the initial Commission’s proposal, the two legislators will now have to formally vote on the text in order to come into law.
EU Commission │ CAP

The European Commission opens platform to monitor CAP targets

Since 1 January 2023, EU countries started implementing their CAP Strategic Plans to provide income support to farmers and support them in the transition towards sustainable production. Each Plan combines a wide range of targeted interventions addressing the specific needs of the EU country concerned. The dashboard allows a look at some examples of what the CAP 2023-27 will deliver by showing 44 result indicators for each country and the targets set for the five years period. The dashboard will be updated on a regular basis to see the progress of Member States in the implementation of the CAP.
Composting and Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants I Belgium & Netherlands

Study Trip to Belgian and Dutch Composting and AD Plants

During the second to last week of March, ECN’s policy officer Riccardo Gambini went on a study trip to visit Flemish and Dutch plants and familiarize himself with the ‘work on the field’, observing first-hand how biowaste is recycled in composting and anaerobic digestion plants.
The first stop was the Ecowerf facility in Leuven, whose AD and composting sites were recently renewed. He took part in an auditing carried out by VLACO and got insights on the whole recycling process leading to the end product. In the following days, he continued the study tour in the Netherlands where he was joined by Avfall Norge and visited different plants with the organisational support of BVOR. The first site on the agenda was Meerlanden, equipped with both composting and anaerobic digestion infrastructures and owned by 8 surrounding municipalities. One of Meerlanden key missions is to recover all possible materials and energy from biowaste processing, and to do that they have developed an integrated system where they also try to repurpose some of the byproducts from the recycling process. The last leg scheduled was one of den Ouden’s green waste composting plants. The site is located close to the family company offices, and uses windrow composting to produce compost, including a specific quality of certified compost for growing media.

News from Members

ECN welcomes new members!

In 2023 four new members have joined the ECN. Please welcome N3 Nachhaltigkeitsberatung, Gütegemeinschaft Kompost Region Bayern e.V., ASSEA BIOENERGY and our P.h.D. student member Mr Juan David Arosemena from the Universitat Atonoma de Barcelona (UAB).


Abfallvergärungstag I 15-17 May 2023

Fermentation Day!

The Fermentation day will be held in Waldenburg im Hohenlohenkreis in Germany!
Click here to register and for more information!
ICAW 2023 I 7 - 13 May 2023

For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food…Compost!

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative in the compost industry. It is celebrated worldwide each year during the first full week of May. The dates for ICAW 2023 are May 7 - 13. The 2023 International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) theme is truly a collaborative and international effort. This year, we teamed up with the International Compost Alliance (ICA) to select: For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food…Compost! The theme was chosen based on a serious worldwide issue that every nation, unfortunately, experiences: hunger.One of the initiatives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), is Zero Hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
Please celebrate the ICAW 2023 with an compost event on your plant or in your community!
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BVOR-Demodagen I 24-25 May 2023

Outdoor machinery exhibition in the Netherlands

The ‘BVOR-Demodagen’ will take place at Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th of Mai 2023 at the compost plant from ‘Combinatie Afvalzorg & den Ouden vof’ in Brunssum, close to the German and Belgian border. The Demodagen are freely accessible for visitors.
Every two years, the BVOR (Dutch Association of Bio Waste Processors) organises the BVOR-Demodagen at one of the plants of their members. During the exhibition companies and organizations demonstrate machines and services for companies which make compost or biomass out of bio waste. Almost 40 machines are demonstrating their abilities. Shredders, chippers, windshifters, turnover machines, screening machines can be seen in action.
In the morning and afternoon there are organised tours (in Dutch). Inside, there is also more information from different exhibitors. Additionally to the companies with the machinery, there are organisations which have a link to the world of bio waste, e.g. consultancies, governmental organisations, weighing systems, certification.
More information can be found here.
4per1000 & BSAG Regional conference I Helsinki (FI) I 6-8 June 2023

Conference on Soil Carbon Sequestration – Registration open

The 1st ever Northern Europe “4 per 1000” Regional Meeting takes place in Helsinki, Finland on 6–8 June 2023. Please join the discussion on soil carbon sequestration, gain new perspectives and become inspired. The conference is organised by the 4per1000 initiative and the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG).
Participation is free of charge. However, the organisers reserve the right to charge no-shows with the costs incurred (approx. 150 € per day).
Registration: 28 February 2023
Submission of poster abstracts: 28 February 2023 (further instructions upon registration)
Please register here.
IPT 2023 I Vienna (AT) I 7 September 2023

International Practitioner Day on Composting Plant of the City of Vienna

Please save the date for the composting and technology demonstration days of the Austrian Compost & Biogas Association (KBVÖ).
Further information will follow soon!

S.O.S Save Organics in Soil

This international initiative S.O.S. SOIL – Save Organics in Soil, led by the European Compost Network (ECN) and the Italian Composting and Biogas Association (CIC), aims to highlight the importance of soil organic matter to encourage policy makers to develop instruments to move Europe towards implementing sustainable, climate proof soil management practices.
Sign the manifesto 'Save Organigs in Soil' here.

European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Im Dohlenbruch 11, D-44795 Bochum
T: +49 (0) 234 438 9447
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EU Transparency Register: 26513411360-51

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ECN-QAS Trade Mark No 011007168
Trade mark for certified quality assurance
organisations, compost and digestate products

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