News

16 October 2014 – Congratulations Amyris and Solazyme!

Congratulations to RSB Certified Operator Amyris and RSB Member Solazyme, Inc. who were both awarded the 2014 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award today in Washington, DC.

  • Amyris won the award for their development of a farnesane-based drop-in renewable fuel. See press release.

We are excited that two organizations from the RSB family have been recognized by this prestigious award.

23 September 2014 – RSB General Assembly Meeting Summary

The 2nd RSB General Assembly was held in São Paulo on September 23, 2014. The first RSB Assembly held outside of Europe marked an important evolution for the organization, and provided a communiqué and forum for current developments and future plans for RSB and its members. Notably, the meeting resulted in the approval of the organization`s eagerly-awaited Small-holder standard as well as the framework for its Monitoring and Evaluation system. The Assembly marked an important milestone in RSB’s development, considering the organization’s growing member-base and relevance within the sustainable biomaterials space: in 2013 and 2014, RSB was acclaimed by WWF, IUCN and NRDC to be the best performing biofuels sustainability standard. Full report and photos coming soon. Read one page meeting summary here.

17 September 2014 – RSB Publishes September 2014 Newsletter

RSB’s recent news and activites are highlighted in the latest “RSB Matters” newsletter and includes smallholder updates, recent certified operators, NRDC report that ranked RSB highest, Sustainable Aviation report on Fuelling the Future, standards updates, recent event participation and upcoming events, and more.

Sign up for Future RSB Newsletters

16 September 2014 – WWF, IUCN and NRDC Find “RSB is the strongest, most robust scheme”

“WWF International, IUCN NL and most recently Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) assessed biofuels certification schemes either against each other, or against a set of criteria. Despite different methodologies and varying numbers and set of standard schemes examined, their findings largely concur:

  • All find RSB to be the strongest, most robust scheme.

The most comprehensive and ambitious of the recognized schemes is the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). The RSB’s principles and criteria include avoiding negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 50%, maintaining water resources, improving food security, and contributing to social and economic development. Read more on WWF’s website.

21 August 2014 – MBP Group Earns RSB Sustainability Certification

MBP Group has earned RSB sustainability certification for their waste material collection, trading and distribution activities. “MBP Group was built on a sustainable background, adding as much value as possible to industrial by-products. Sustainability was – and still remains – a key ingredient of our business activities and its success. We are pleased to see that our company was certified according to the RSB scheme; this constitutes an important recognition of our continuous efforts for the sustainable management and trade of industrial waste and by-products,” David Magnussen, MBP Group CEO. “We are very pleased that MBP Group has chosen RSB certification for their sites in the UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. MBP’s commitment to feedstock traceability throughout their operations, which supply a wide range of waste material to the biofuels and bioenergy sectors, fits very well with the robust RSB approach to waste verification,” said Rolf Hogan, RSB’s Executive Secretary. Download the full press release here.

18 August 2014 – New ISEAL Report “Responsible Business Practices in the Indian Palm Oil Sector” Published

“A new report produced through support from ISEAL analyses the reasons why demand for sustainable palm oil is lagging in the world’s largest palm oil consuming country. The report was produced by the Centre for Responsible Business, ISEAL’s local implementing partner in India for the project with the Swiss government. It finds that incentives are critically lacking for Indian businesses to commit to sourcing sustainably and that the standards movement needs to more strategically engage influential actors in the Indian landscape to increase the adoption of certification.” Download the report.  Visit ISEAL’s website for more information.

13 August 2014 – Certification of Bio-Based Chemicals: RSB in Bioplastics Magazine

Bioplastics Magazine recently published an opinion piece on mass balance. Read RSB’s Dr. Melanie Williams commentary and explanation of RSB’s certification of bio-based chemicals and mass balance.  Download full article here.

6 August 2014 – SkyNRG Partners with Boeing, South African Airways to Turn Tobacco Into Sustainable Jet Fuel Based on Sunchem Solaris Technology

SkyNRG announces its first major feedstock project in South Africa based on the Solaris technology. Solaris is a nicotine-free energy tobacco crop that’s developed by the Italian company Sunchem. SkyNRG and Sunchem SA have teamed up to roll out Solaris in  Southern Africa at large scale to help power local sustainable jet fuel production. Solaris aims to demonstrate its sustainability by meeting the criteria of the Roundtable of
Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) standard which has been identified by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other international NGOs as the strongest sustainability guarantee on the market. Boeing, SAA and the RSB are already working together with Southern African stakeholders to position farmers with small plots of land to tap markets for biofuel  feedstocks that provide socio-economic value to communities without harming food supplies, fresh water or land use. Read full press release here.

30 July 2014 – Aviation Industry Publishes “Fuelling the Future”

Sustainable Aviation published “Fuelling the Future”. It is supportive of RSB as the most robust global sustainability standard saying “In pursuing high volume production of these new fuels, SA members remain committed to the highest possible sustainability standards, ensuring that the raw materials and processes used have minimal impacts on direct and indirect land use, do not compete with food or water supplies, result in substantial life cycle carbon reductions and are independently certified to the highest sustainability standards, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB).” Read more here.

29 July 2014 – NRDC Report Ranks RSB Highest for Helping Ensure Sustainability of Biofuels Production

A new report published today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) examined seven leading programs that certify biofuel production practices for sustainability and concluded that RSB is the best performing certification system. NRDC’s report Biofuel Sustainability Performance Guidelines, notes that “third party certification systems vary significantly in stringency and protectiveness” and that “RSB ranked highest for helping to ensure economic, environmental and social sustainability of biofuels production practices around the globe.” Read the full press release.

23-25 July 2014 – 1st Conference on Pan American Biofuels and Bioenergy Sustainability, Recife, PE, Brazil

This conference is organized by the Pan American Research Coordination Network, with the purpose of gathering a network of biofuel sustainability researchers from a wide range of disciplines along with industry leaders, government officials, leaders of non-governmental organizations, foundations, and other professionals. RSB’s Aurea Nardelli is invited to participate in a panel which will discuss “NGO-Government Perspectives on Biofuel and Bioenergy Sustainability”. More information here.

28 June 2014 – ISEAL Public Consultation on Ecolabels’ Good Practice Guide Open Until 7 July 2014

ISEAL, the global association for sustainability standards, is running a consultation to bring more consistency to sustainability claims and ecolabels and make it easier for people to understand what lies behind a claim and the differences between claims. Claims and labels are the way that most people experience sustainability standards and they should allow for informed decision making. ISEAL is looking to develop a Good Practice Guide that will help standards and certification programmes put in place credible systems so that truthful and accurate claims can be made about them.
Visit www.iseal.org/claims to participate.

5 June 2014 – Ennovor Biofuels First in UK to Earn RSB Certification!

Ennovor, one of Europe’s largest sustainable biodiesel producers, has earned RSB certification for their used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) biodiesel. Ennovor’s focus is on converting natural and recovered oil and fats, such as used cooking oil (UCO) recovered through its global supply chain, into UCOME biodiesel. “As an international certification system, RSB is appropriate for any feedstock in any country thus works very well along the entire supply chain,” says David Frohnsdorff, CEO of Ennovor. “The RSB certification will enable Ennovor to demonstrate strict compliance with EU and international sustainability standards”. Download the full press release here.

31 May 2014 -SQ Consult Newsletter Discusses Sustainable Purchasing and RSB’s Role

In their recent newsletter, SQ Consult published an article entitled “Purchasing departments as game changers for sustainability.”   The article mentions that “The RSB certification scheme provides with a well-structured, clear and progressive sustainability framework” and discusses how purchasing departments can improve their sustainability efforts. Read full article here.

29 May 2014 – Biomass Supplies Applies for RSB Sustainability Certification

Biomass Supplies has applied for RSB certification and would be the first RSB-certified company in Sri Lanka. Biomass Supplies is pioneering innovative and progressive partnerships with small farmers and land owners to access biomass supply that can be used both for pellet production (an alternative to coal) and for power generation. RSB’s planned sustainability certification will cover Gliricidia, a fast rotation coppice tree, used as a fence in Sri Lanka. In the last 12 months, Biomass Supplies has been supplying Gliricidia to two garment manufacturing companies who use the fuel wood for their biomass boilers. The first of these companies is Brandix, Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter. Read more….

21 May 2014 – RSB Mentioned in Article About Biofuel from Australia’s Mallee Tree

A two-year study commissioned by Airbus and partners including Virgin Australia in 2012 into the practicability of using Australia’s mallee trees to make biofuels suitable for powering passenger jets has reported encouraging results. The report published by the Future Farm Industries Cooperative Centre (CRC) concludes that jet fuel made from the mallee tree will meet strict sustainability criteria determined by the Roundtable for Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and will be suitable for commercial flights according to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Read full article.

21 May 2014 – RSB Mentioned on GreenBiz.com Article Regarding Biofuels and City Transportion

Sue Lebeck writes “…the efficiency of those vehicles still circling for parking is increased through stricter fuel standards. In addition, more carbon-neutral biofuels such as those certified through the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB offers a toolkit) may increasingly replace their fossil-based counterparts.” Read the full article here.

20 May 2014 – INRO Recommends Use of RSB Certification System for Biomass

INRO (Initiative for the Sustainable Supply of Raw Materials for the Industrial Use of Biomass) recently announced that instead of creating its own certification system, it recommends using existing systems for biomass including the RSB certification system. Read more…

15 May 2014 – RSB Publishes May Newsletter

April and May continued to be very exciting months for RSB! Our newsletter below offers a quick overview of the latest developments. As always, if you have suggestions or questions please contact us at info@rsb.org. Thanks for your support and enjoy reading! May 2014 RSB Newsletter

13 May 2014 – SSI Report States RSB Only Initiative Demonstrating 100% Coverage of All Three SSI Greenhouse Gas Indicators

The latest “State of Sustainability Initiatives Review 2014: Standards and the Green Economy” report indicates that the RSB is the only initiative demonstrating 100 per cent coverage of all three SSI greenhouse gas indicators. The State of Sustainability Initiatives (SSI) project is facilitated by the Sustainable Commodity Initiative and has been directly managed by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade, Environment and Trade in a World of Interdependence (ENTWINED), and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).  Download the full SSI report here.

7 May 2014 – Amyris Earns RSB Sustainability Certification

Congratulations to Amyris, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS) which has completed the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) certification process and has earned one of the most respected sustainability certifications in the world! RSB’s sustainability cSugarcane production in Colombia, South Americaertification covers Amyris’s renewable hydrocarbon molecules, initially farnesene, produced from Brazilian sugarcane feedstock at the Amyris biorefinery in Brotas, São Paulo state. Farnesene is a liquid, long-chain, branched renewable hydrocarbon that serves as precursor in many applications ranging from specialty chemicals to high performance fuels. “From our renewable diesel and jet fuel to our cosmetic emollient squalane and new fragrance oils, we apply inspired science to deliver solutions for a growing world,” said Zanna McFerson, Amyris’s Chief Business Officer. “We look forward to continuing our work with RSB and other stakeholders to demonstrate our commitment to its rigorous sustainability standards for all of our molecules and products.” Download full release in English here. Download release in Portuguese here.

1 May 2014 – RSB Certification Recognized by Unilever

Unilever now recognises RSB-certified products as “sustainably sourced.” Based on a review of the RSB standard and certification system, Unilever recognises that RSB fulfils all the requirements of Unilever’s Sustainable Agriculture Code (SAC). Such products will be integrated in Unilever’s supply chain without any additional sustainability check, thus facilitating access to Unilever’s procurement for RSB-certified producers. RSB certification applies to biomass produced for a wide range of products, including, but not limited to, bio-chemicals, bio-plastics, compostable/biodegradable tableware, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, pharmaceutical, and feed. Dhaval Buch, Chief Procurement Officer at Unilever said: “Partnerships and setting standards is key to achieving sustainable market transformation. As we continue to progress with our Sustainable Living Plan, it is important that we partner with organizations such as the RSB. This will help us to deliver our ambition to buy all our agricultural raw materials from sustainable sources by 2020.” Download full release here.

30 April 2014 – Welcome Schatz Energy Research Center of Humboldt University!

Welcome to RSB’s newest member, Schatz Energy Research Center of Humboldt University! Schatz Energy Research Center of Humboldt University will participate in Chamber 7: Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), governments, standard-setters, specialist advisory agencies, certification agencies, and consultant experts. You can read more about Schatz Energy Research Center of Humboldt University at their website, and see RSB’s complete list of members here.

March/April 2014 – RSB mentioned in Biofuels International Article about Ennover

Ennover Group, one of Europe’s largest biodiesel producers, stated in a Biofuels International article that it is in the process of becoming RSB certified. The article states “The company believes joining voluntary schemes [like RSB] has become a commercial necessity for biofuel producers. The debate as to which voluntary scheme provides the best method to ensure full sustainability continues, with WWF recently ranking RSB as the best performing scheme out of the 13 schemes included in their analysis.”

28 March 2014 – RSB Hosts Successful Event at WBM

Read the update by László Mathe, ASI RSB accreditation program manager, from the World Bio Markets (WBM) Conference 2014, Amsterdam titled “Your next car might be vegetables based!” Mathe says “Sustainability, especially considering the scale of the demand and growing competition is a key challenge. Credible, voluntary standards such as the RSB and FSC can play an important role to ensure long term sustainability. In this context, the RSB side event focusing on the certification of small holders was a successful event according to many participants.” Click here to read full article.

26 March 2014 – RSB’s Sebastien Haye Co-Authors Book Chapter

Congrats to RSB’s Sebastien Haye who recently co-authored a chapter in Socio-Economic Impacts of Bioenergy Production edited by D. Rutz and R. Janssen. The book address the wide-ranging socio-economic impacts of bioenergy.  Sebastien co-authored a chapter about Socio-Economic Impact Assessment Tools with Martijn Vis and Anne-Sophie Dörnbrack.

25 March 2014 – RSB Newsletter Published Today

There has been a lot going on at the RSB this year and even more coming soon. Our newsletter below offers a quick overview of the latest developments! As always, if you have suggestions or questions please contact us at info@rsb.org. Thanks for your support and enjoy reading! RSB March 2014 Newsletter

24 March 2014 – Solena Fuels Newest RSB Member

Welcome to RSB’s newest member, Solena Fuels! Solena Fuels will participate in Chamber 2: Industrial biofuel/biomaterial producers. Solena’s sustainable synthetic fuel is a “drop-in” fuel that allows the aviation, maritime and road transportation industries to utilize a sustainable energy source without any modifications or changes to their engines or infrastructure. Solena utilizes a wide range of low-cost, carbon-bearing materials such as urban waste to produce their fuels. You can read more about Solena Fuels at their website, and see RSB’s complete list of members here.

18 March 2014 – RSB Launches Simplified Certification Process For Bonsucro Certified Entities

RSB announced that Bonsucro certified operators will now be able to access RSB certification through a simplified audit process to demonstrate compliance, therefore saving costs and time. An RSB study concludes that RSB and Bonsucro sustainability standards have significant overlap on most of their requirements. Supported by the ISEAL Alliance, the comparison reveals that Bonsucro certified sugarcane could be de facto considered compliant with most of the RSB’s twelve Principles and Criteria. RSB has additional requirements for Rural and Social Development and Food Security. The complete gap analysis is available upon request via info@rsb.org. Download full press release in [English] or [Portuguese]. Read more about RSB’s cooperation with other standards…

5 March 2014 - Boeing, South African Airways, RSB Explore Ways for Farmers to Grow More Sustainable Biofuel Crops

Boeing is launching an initiative with South African Airways (SAA) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) to expand opportunities for “smallhold” farmers in Southern Africa to grow crops that produce sustainable fuels. The program builds on a global effort by Boeing, RSB and other partners to help farmers with small plots of land gain access to markets for sustainable biofuels and biomaterials. In the coming months, Boeing and RSB will work with Southern African stakeholders to create pilot programs to build knowledge and skills among groups of farmers who want to certify their crops as sustainable. Read more…

4 February 2014 – Greenwood Earns RSB and FSC Certification

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) is pleased to announce that GreenWood Tree Farm Fund, LP (GTFF) has become the first short rotation forest plantation worldwide to earn certification under the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). The RSB certification covers GTFF’s cultivation, management and harvesting of coppiced poplar trees, used as biomass feedstock for the cellulosic ethanol industry or pelletized for direct combustion in biomass electric plants.

GTFF is also the first plantation to be jointly certified by both RSB and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Combined, these two certifications recognize GWR’s effort to maintain biodiversity, protect water resources, account for greenhouse gas emissions, treat workers fairly, and benefit the community.  Download the full press release here.  View the entire RSB certified operator list here.

January/February 2014 – RSB’s “Proof of Clarity” Article Published in Biofuels International

RSB’s Melanie Williams published an article titled “Proof of Clarity: A look at new ways of upstream verification on used cooking oils and tallow via the RSB” in the January/February print issue of Biofuels International.  Contact us for a copy of the article or read it here.

27 January 2014 – Stakeholder Consultation for Theory of Change & Data Collection system

The Theory of Change describes how the RSB Standard and Certification System will bring about positive changes in biomass production and processing chains worldwide. The Theory of Changes details how specific activities will lead to mid-term and long-term impacts on the environment and the people. More importantly, it explains how such impacts will be measured continuously through the collection of relevant data (Data Collection System) from certified operations and the surrounding areas.

Please visit our Monitoring & Evaluation page for more information.

23 January 2014 – RSB Streamlines Activities

The RSB has optimized its operations by integrating certification and standard development under one roof. The certification activities previously carried out under licence by RSB Services Foundation will now be carried out by the RSB in Geneva, Switzerland as of 1 February 2014. This change will improve the efficiency of communications and internal operations and administrative functions, while allowing the continuation of certification activities and the validity of RSB certificates. For more information, click here. Feel free to contact us at info@rsb.org with any questions.

20 January 2014 – New Public Comment Period for Whole Energy

Comment period closes 3 February 2014.

Whole Energy is applying for RSB EU RED certification of 5 distribution terminals located in Washington, Oregon, and California USA.

Location/Region: USA

Feedstock/Biofuel: Distribution of pure biodiesel, biodiesel blends

Please send all public comments to info@rsb.org

December 2013 – WWF Publishes Boa Nguvu: An African Sustainable Energy Country Report

Sustainable energy is starting to move to the core of energy policy in Africa. In this WWF report “Boa Nguvu – An African Sustainable Energy Country” offers the example of a fictional country, the Republic of Boa Nguvu, which has defined an Energy Strategy 2030, to transition to a sustainable energy based country. In other words, Boa Nguvu has gathered the “Best of Africa” when it comes to sustainable energy practices. The report describes the path chosen by Boa Nguvu in achieving a sustainable energy future, with the expectation that it will inspire other African countries to address their related challenges. It shows how to achieve the transition in a poor country from an energy mix dominated by fossil fuels and traditional biomass to renewable energy including sustainable biomass as the main sources supplying most of the energy needs of all sectors. Although this is a fictional case, it is based on real situations in sub-Saharan Africa. Download the report summary here or the full report here.

20 December 2013 – RSB Workshop Summary Report released – GHG Emissions from Forestry Products and Solid Biomass

The workshop aimed to gather a small group of stakeholders to discuss the uncertainties that exist with regards to the development of a GHG methodology and tool for products derived from forestry products and solid biomass.   Click here to read the full report.

20 December 2013 – Summary Report of the 2nd Meeting of the RSB Assembly of Delegates (29 Nov 2013)

The RSB Assembly of Delegates met via teleconference on November 29 and took a number of important decisions, among which the approval of the revised Standard for Participating Operators (RSB-STD-30-001). See our Sustainability Standards‘ page for the latest version of all RSB standards and procedures.
Summary Report

06 December 2013 – RSB South-East Asian Smallholder Workshop A Success

RSB has launched an initiative with the help of The Boeing Company to support small farmers in Southeast Asia by expanding their opportunities to grow feedstocks that produce sustainable fuels.  More than 60 participants from 15 countries attended a three-day South-East Asian workshop on “Sustainable Biomaterials for Better Livelihoods” that participants said successfully met local and global objectives.  The workshop, held in Kuala Lumpur on December 4-6, was hosted by the RSB with the support of Boeing.  The RSB and other partners launched this program to understand and address the challenges for smallholder farmers in accessing markets for sustainable biofuels and biomaterials.  Click here for more details.

28 November 2013 – RSB ranks first among EU-recognised schemes (WWF/IUCN)!

A new study by WWF international recognizes the RSB as the “best performing scheme” out of the 13 EU-recognized voluntary certification schemes that it analyzed. A similar report by IUCN Netherlands “Betting on best quality” looking at the implementation of EU schemes concluded that RSB “covers more sustainability criteria, with greater detail, and with more breath in terms of level of assurance” than any of the other Voluntary sustainability schemes. Both reports were launched today at the WWF Workshop on EC approved biofuels schemes: Do they offer enough safeguards in practice? Attended by governments, NGOs and the EC in Brussels.

Read WWF News Release
Read WWF Full Report
Read IUCN NL Full Report
Click here to view past, archived news.

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