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Assembly of Delegates and Business Forum Wrap Up

The Assembly of Delegates meeting and Business Forum that took place in Vancouver, Canada from the 14th – 16th November was a major success for the RSB, its members, delegates and sector specialists who joined us to discuss the exciting and complex issues on the agenda. 

Neva Murtha, Senior Campaigner, Canopy, set the scene for the meeting by highlighting the power of collaboration in driving sustainable change and opening new markets.

Other highlights included RSB’s Standards Director, Elena Schmidt, leading participants though the more technical aspects of the bioproducts and waste and residues standards. The RSB members approved the revised waste and residue standard which is now the RSB Standard for Advanced Fuels.

Earlier the RSB board approved the new US Indicators and corn stover protocol. This protocol was developed to provide decision-makers with information regarding the practices and the metrics that should be adhered to by both farmers and auditors to ensure that any removal of corn stover (for cellulosic biofuel or bioproduct production) is done in a way that ensures soil health.

RSB was also very proud to announce a partnership agreement with the Inter-American System for Agriculture – IICA -which is a great example of how the RSB can link business and non-business stakeholders to support the development of a sustainable bioeconomy. 

The future of the RSB’s membership was also under discussion and an interactive session with the members in attendance gave some valuable insights as to what the RSB’s members want for the development of the membership model going forward.

Once again a big thank you to our sponsors and members who joined us at the event. It was inspiring to see the level of engagement from our established members and those that are new to the RSB network.

Business Forum wrap up:

On Thursday the 16th, our Aviation Business Forum looked at the challenge of getting biojet to scale – with speakers and delegates from across the aviation industry represented. Our expert panels looked at the key challenges and opportunities that exist in commercialising aviation biofuels.

Professor Jack Saddler from the University of British Columbia, opened the panel discussion by sharing some research into the current state of biofuels, and verified it as the only viable alternative fuel for aviation.

Amy Malaki, from the Climateworks Foundation set the context of the growth expectations for the aviation sector scene by talking about the demand for flying which is set to double in under 20 years.

A range of experts from the various parts of the aviation supply chain participated in lively conversations by sharing their thoughts on the opportunities and benefits, risks and challenges in commercialising sustainable biojet fuel.

What was evident is that collaboration is vital, and our panelists highlighted the importance of extending opportunities to parts of the aviation industry and supply chain that might not have been engaged previously – specifically sovereign oil companies, which are governed by increasingly climate-focused national agendas and could influence mid-stream oil producers.

The role of other bioproducts and biomaterials was also highlighted, with panellists noting that biojet should not exist in a vacuum – and that developing aviation biofuels should be linked with the sustainable development of the bioeconomy. Innovative policies are needed too as technology influences supply chains and costs begin to drop.

Overall it was agreed that persistence is needed, clear goals must be set and that RSB is the solution for ensuring true sustainability.

On Friday 17th November, Rolf Hogan, RSB’s Executive Director and Tjasa Bole-Rentel from WWF-SA shared the stage at the IATA Alternative Fuels Symposium in presenting the methodology and results from a resent feedstock study conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa. The methodology can be applied anywhere in the world and RSB invited interested parties to contact us to learn more.

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