Gold Standard response to Guardian Article on Bachu Biomass Power Generation Project
Gold Standard is aware of allegations around the Bachu Biomass Power Generation Project reported in the Guardian on 13 November. The project is co-run by South Pole and National Bio Energy Group.
At Gold Standard we appreciate the scrutiny that investigative journalism can bring, and welcome contributions that help the voluntary carbon market improve and deliver on its potential to drive change where it matters most.
The allegation put to us is that cotton stalks used by the power plant are at risk of being linked to forced labour in Uyghur forced labour in Xinjiang, China. These concerns were not communicated to us prior to us being contacted by the Guardian.
While we do not presume any wrongdoing or otherwise prior to a proper due diligence process, we take allegations such as this very seriously and have strong human rights requirements in place.
Gold Standard operates a system through which project allegations and grievances are reviewed and acted upon, deemed best in class by Carbon Market Watch. The following initial steps, leading to further review and action as needed, will take place:
- We will notify SustainCERT, our independent certification body, of the immediate need to review this issue.
- Due to the potential difficulties of investigation in the region, we will work with SustainCERT to carefully consider the most efficient and effective way to assess the issue, potentially via the validation and verification body who undertakes the next assessment, or otherwise by an independent investigation if needed.
Following the outcome of this investigation we will decide what further action to take, in line with the best practices Gold Standard is known for.