Social and Environmental Impact
Biomass Group ‘ethical biomass’ provides social, environmental and economic co-benefits that other biomass sources do not deliver – and therefore offer a responsible alternative to mono-cultivated and forest biomass and waste residues.
We are promoting an alternative approach that will play a significant role in the biomass business globally. We would like to promote the message that all wood energies are not bad!
Our impact also extends to other farm produce and smart agriculture practices (agroforestry, organic fertilizer and pesticide, soil rehabilitation, etc.) therefore enhancing co-benefits.
DEFORESTATION FREE BIOMASS
With millions of Gliricidia trees planted, we are mitigating climate change and enhancing sustainable food production (improving soil health). The sustainable fuelwood produced will contribute to green development of Sri Lanka by reducing its dependency to external unsustainable energy sources.
Gliricidia is a rapidly growing tree which can reach maturity within 18 months and can thereafter be coppiced. Our trees remain for 50+ years and therefore create a long-term carbon stock (roots and trunks). This model also helps avoiding further forest degradation for primary energy needs.
IMPACT ON SOIL
Gliricidia is soil improver, with its nitrogen fixing root nodules pulling nutrients closer to the soil surface. Its leaves and bark can be used as a highly effective, organic fertilizer and pesticide. In producing our fuelwood resources, we enhance soil health – regenerating soil through a return to organic farming.
The farmer no longer needs to spend money on agricultural inputs and the water table is not poisoned from chemical fertilizer / pesticide run-off. 30 kilograms of Gliricidia leaves can replace the entire Urea requirement input of a single coconut tree for a year.
When the civil war ended in Sri Lanka in 2009, there was high unemployment rates especially amongst women. Rural housewives lack specific skills and due to limited economic opportunities in rural areas of Sri Lanka, many migrate as domestic workers to exit poverty.
We offer a credible alternative to empower poor rural women. Today over 90% of our contact with our registered smallholder farmers is with the woman of the household. Any income they earn is a supplement to household income and is usually spent on family well-being and on children’s education.
In Biomass Group we believe in and promote gender equality and women empowerment – The company founder and Chairperson along with 50% of our field officers are women – a unique example of parity in Sri Lanka.
As part of Impact Champion activities with Business Call to Action, Biomass Group is currently undertaking impact measurement and management against Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The objective is to conduct a full cycle of impact measurement and management from developing an SDGs focused impact framework to data collection, analysis and reporting.
Biomass Group uses it’s state of the art digital platform to monitor pre-identified economic, social and environmental indicators and trace impacts of ground-level activities in the agriculture and environment sectors. We are collecting basic socio-demographics and geospatial information, but also monitoring detailed data on smart agricultural practices and their impact, crops yield, household incomes, etc. therefore producing unique, verifiable and customizable statistics.
We are for example collecting detailed data related to RSB and VCS/CCBS certification standards. Other certification schemes (for agricultural produces) could be accommodated based on the end customers’ needs.