Jatropha company JOil has announced it has been awarded Gold Standard sustainability certification for its japtropha plantation in Ghana.

JOil said its japtropha trees produced fruits that could be used as a non-food, low carbon feedstock for a variety of industrial applications, including biofuel.

The certification was awarded to JOil’s japtropha plantations in Bono East Province, Ghana, according to the 7 March statement.

The certification was established in 2003 by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other international NGOs as a best practice standard for sustainable development.

A joint venture between Temasek Holdings (Singapore), Tata Chemicals (India), and Wuthelam Holdings (Singapore), JOil uses a technology-led approach to jatropha planting.

JOil said it would be planting about 6,000ha of jatropha and establishing about 14,000ha of jatropha plantation through an estimated 14,000 smallholder farmers, with all of the plantations certified under the Gold Standard or other appropriate carbon certification standards.

“As a sustainable, low carbon emissions non-food crop, jatropha represents… an alternative raw material for a variety of non-food applications. Every part of the jatropha fruit can be used productively, for example, the meal from the fruit can be used as an organic fertiliser; fruit shells can have application in bio-plastic; and crude jatropha oil from the nut can be a source for various applications including biofuel,” chairman of the JOil board Sunny Verghese said.

Gold Standard-certified projects undergo a stringent assessment and must have: a minimum of three sustainable development goals; local stakeholder consultation and gender-sensitive guidelines; environmental and social safeguards; limited risks and negative impacts; civil society endorsement from Gold Standard’s broad NGO supporter network.