District heating

The way we heat our homes has a major impact on the environment. District heating labelled Good Environmental Choice requires wood fuel to come from environmentally sound forestry, and forest of high conservation value to be protected from harvesting. The label also requires ash from combustion to be returned to the forest in order to retain nutrients.

District heating is an efficient heating system, as the large scale allows waste heat recovery and combustion that is both more economical and environmentally better than if each household had its own boiler.

Provisions for energy efficiency improvements and conversion to renewable fuels

All licensees allocate money to an Energy Efficiency and Conversion Fund. The money in the fund is then used to finance energy efficiency measures or convert systems from using fossil fuels or electricity to using solar or district heating. See Appendix 1 to the criteria below for more information.

Environmental impact of district heating

The environmental impact of district heating depends on how it is produced, for example which fuels are burned, how the fuel is transported and how the residual products are utilised. District heating with biofuel can also be problematic, as biofuel can come from forests with high biodiversity, leave poorly managed clear-cut areas, displace people and animals and lead to major problems where harvesting takes place. Fossil fuels are also used in harvesting and processing. Bio-oils can come from tropical farms where rainforests have been cut down. This is why Good Environmental Choice sets stringent environmental requirements. By labelling district heating with Good Environmental Choice, you clearly show that your company has taken the environment into account.

Our environmental requirements

Only district heating based on renewable energy can be labelled with Good Environmental Choice.

  • The fuel must be traceable back to the source.
  • The fuel must be approved in accordance with FSC (FSC is an organisation that monitors forestry operations and ensures that they minimise environmental damage).
  • The amount of fossil fuels used for harvesting, transport and so on must be severely limited.
  • Production must not be at the expense of biodiversity or social or cultural and economic welfare.
  • It is also not permitted to mix in palm oil, genetically modified crops or stumps (because tree stumps are important for biodiversity).

All the requirements applicable to ecolabelled district heating can be found in our criteria below. There is an option to label just the portion of your production that meets the criteria.

Questions, please contact us

Do you have any questions about ecolabelled district heating or are you interested in labelling your company’s heating? Don’t hesitate to contact us at Good Environmental Choice. Our contact details are listed below.

Apply to be a licensee

Ready to become a licensee? This is the application process step by step. If you have questions regarding what an application would mean for you, please contact us.

About Good Environmental Choice

Good Environmental Choice is an independent eco-label with tough environmental requirements that is constantly evolving.

Read about the eco label
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