The Danish Press Council investigation concluded in their decision 2021-80-0761, that TV2 Østjylland violated the good journalistic practice, covering the forest management and wood pellet import story from Estonia.
The complaint was lodged by Graanul Invest auditing partner Preferred by Nature. According to the decision of the Press Council, TV2 provided misleading information.
On 10 November, in an evening news program on TV2 Østjylland, TV2 published a news story about the import of pellets produced in Estonia into Denmark. Articles on the same topic were published on tv2ost-jylland.dk. The distorted story was produced in partnership with Estonian NGO Eesti Metsa Abiks.
The news story uses common demagoguery techniques, questioning as one of the pervasive themes: there is no 100% guarantee that wood pellets arriving in Denmark are produced sustainably.
In the context of the news, it is not explained what the author means by the claim “unsustainable”. The news story repeatedly states that, some of the wood used in Graanul Invest’s pellet plants comes from clear-cutting areas, and that each individual load of wood has not been inspected separately by an auditor. Both ‘problems’ are artificially fabricated: clear-cutting is a legal and recognized practice of forest management throughout Europe that has nothing to do with ‘sustainability’. Nor is it the role of the auditor and certifier to inspect each individual shipment. The purpose of certification of raw materials and authentication of conformity is the independent third-party surveillance and supervision of companies’ processes.
The role of the auditors is to ensure that the origin of all raw materials and the processes involved in their handling is accurate at all times. The exact origin of the raw material associated with a particular harvest must be 100% verifiable and documented.
Graanul Invest follows the requirements of the supply chain developed by recognized certification systems, on the basis of which it is possible to trace the origin of timber back to the certified forest property. As a member of the certified timber industry community, Graanul Invest supports forest management that preserves valuable forest biota and ensures safe, healthy, and fair working conditions for people working in the forests. Uncertain material from the most environmentally and socially harmful sources is excluded through timber certification.
In recognition of a sustainable value chain, Graanul Invest has been awarded certificates for sustainable forest management, a sustainable supply chain, high-quality production and a functioning management system. Independent party inspections help ensure the best service for the company’s current and future customers and partners.
Graanul Invest monitors and measures the consignment of raw materials of every single load entering the territory of the factory, using an accurate digital measuring system. With every load all the related documentation is checked and verified. In addition an electronic double check is performed, overlapping the data with nature protection restrictions or areas declared as valuable habitats in order to exclude connections with the specific felling. We guarantee 100% compliance of the produced pellets and used raw materials with the requirements of PEFC, FSC and SBP certificates.
Pellets are a high-energy heating material that can replace gas, oil, or oil shale. We are increasingly adding new carbon from the ground into the energy mix and boosting anthropogenic climate change by burning fossil fuels. Any fossil material that we can leave in the ground is a step closer to solving climate problems.
If properly harvested and used, bioenergy is part of a balanced carbon cycle. Climate problems are linked to the imbalance of the atmospheric carbon cycle resulting from the use of fossil carbon. Carbon from bioenergy has a place in this balanced cycle, while carbon from fossil fuels does not.
The use of wood waste in energy production allows us to move towards meeting our climate goals by burning less oil, oil shale or natural gas. Sustainably produced wood-based biomass is an environmentally friendly energy source, provided that the raw material comes from the natural waste stream, does not compete in price or value with other industries and is produced with the least possible environmental impact. The energy produced from biomass meeting these criteria has a life-cycle emission reduction potential of up to 98% compared to coal and is indispensable for achieving climate goals.
Graanul Invest is world leading biomass and bioenergy producer. We believe that our leadership in biomass is key to meeting the global climate challenge. Graanul Invest Group has been developing the bioenergy field for over 19 years and lead the industry with some of the most advanced process and technologies. Our international group operates 12 modern pellet plants in the Baltics and US and six combined heat-and power plants in Estonia and Latvia. The Group employs 500 people.