Biosphere Carbon Group LLC announced today that it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label. The product, Biosphere Biochar™, is now able to display a unique USDA label that highlights its percentage of biobased content.
Third-party verification for a product’s biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, an initiative created by the 2002 Farm Bill (and most recently expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill). One of the goals of the BioPreferred Program is to increase the development, purchase and use of biobased products.
The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product’s biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine, or forestry feedstocks. Utilizing renewable, biobased materials displaces the need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals. Biobased products, through petroleum displacement, have played an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate global climate change.
Biobased products are cost-comparative, readily available, and perform as well as or better than their conventional counterparts.
“We applaud Biosphere Carbon Group LLC for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product label,” said Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program. “Products from Biosphere Carbon Group LLC are contributing to an ever expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities, and decreases our reliance on petroleum.”
According to a report that USDA released in 2015, biobased products contributed $369 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013 and support, directly and indirectly, 4 million jobs. The same report found that biobased products also displace approximately 300 million gallons of petroleum per year in the U.S., which is the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road. The increased production of renewable chemicals and biobased products contributes to the development and expansion of the U.S. bioeconomy – where society looks to agriculture for sustainable sources of fuel, energy, chemicals, and materials.
About the USDA BioPreferred Program and Certified Biobased Product label
The BioPreferred Program is a USDA-led initiative that assists the development and expansion of markets for biobased products. The BioPreferred Program is transforming the marketplace for biobased products through two initiatives: mandatory purchasing requirements for Federal Agencies and Federal contractors and voluntary product certification and labeling.
Biobased products span a diverse range of applications, such as lubricants, cleaning products, chemicals and bioplastics. The USDA Certified Biobased Product label communicates a product’s biobased content. Expressed as a percentage, biobased content is the ratio of non-fossil organic carbon (new organic carbon) to total organic carbon in a product. New organic carbon is derived from recently-created materials. The total organic carbon in a product consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon that originates from fossil carbon materials, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas. Approximately 2,800 products have earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product label as of August 2016. To learn more about the USDA Certified Biobased Product label please visit www.biopreferred.gov, and follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BioPreferred.