The UK's Renewable Fuels Agency has today issued guidance on how to report the sustainability of biofuels. The reporting is needed for biofuels supplied through the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO).

The RTFO will, from April 2008, place an obligation on fuel suppliers to ensure that a certain percentage of their aggregate sales is made up of biofuels. The effect of this will be to require 5% of all UK fuel sold on UK forecourts to come from a renewable source by 2010. But not all biofuels are the same and the government wants to ensure that the biofuels delivered under the scheme are providing real greenhouse gas savings and do not have any unintended negative environmental or social impacts.

As a result the RTFO requires companies to provide information on a regular basis on the greenhouse gas savings and wider sustainability of the biofuels they provide. The guidance published today provides the relevant information for companies on how to comply with reporting requirements.

The UK government has set performance targets to encourage responsible sourcing and the RFA will publish quarterly and annual reports on the RTFO that include a comparison of company performance against these targets. The targets are not mandatory and there is no penalty for failing to meet them.

The guidance has been developed through the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership.