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New Directors Cement RSB’s Vision for a Sustainable and Circular Bioeconomy

This week RSB’s Board of Directors welcomed new leaders to drive the vision of this innovative, solutions-oriented and future-focused organisation. Having been involved and committed to RSB for many years, Maiju Helin of UPM Biofuels and Laurel Harmon of LanzaTech now step up to serve as Chair and Vice Chair of the RSB Board of Directors, respectively. As representatives of two of the most exciting companies in the bioeconomy, Maiju and Laurel bring many years of experience within RSB to these leadership positions – as well as real and demonstrated commitment to working within a multi-stakeholder community focused on social and environmental sustainability.

On her election to the position of Chair, Maiju Helin who is Head of Sustainability and Market Development at UPM Biofuels, reflects on RSB’s journey but looks keenly to the future of the organisation: “These are truly exciting times as the future beyond fossils is taking off. With the investments and knowledge base RSB now has, it is at the forefront as a leading voice for both industry and civil society to drive positive outcomes and I strongly believe collaboration between different stakeholders is the most effective way to promote a circular and bioeconomy. The positive impacts from the implementation of RSB’s multi-stakeholder sustainability standard are not just at a product level, they will make a difference for our climate and help consumers and businesses make better choices. I’m thrilled to see wider action on sustainability and climate impacts and hope that the example of UPM will inspire other companies to deliver renewable and responsible solutions to meet the growing consumer demand.”

During her time at UPM, Maiju has represented the company within RSB as a member, a delegate to the assembly and latterly a board member. During that time, UPM has achieved RSB certification for its operations in Uruguay and Finland, as well as the world’s first low ILUC certification. Maiju has also contributed to the ongoing development of RSB’s best-in-class sustainability standard, bringing insight and expertise to new approaches to dealing with waste materials and non-fuel products, as RSB innovates its approaches in response to an increasingly circular world. With her steady guidance and long-term commitment to sustainability and RSB, the organisation is certainly in safe hands as she and Laurel guide RSB towards achieving its vision of a just and sustainable response to the global climate crisis.

Dr. Laurel Harmon provides policy direction and leadership on international legislative and regulatory matters and develops collaborative research and demonstration projects in her role as Vice President of Government Relations at LanzaTech, one of the most innovative companies globally who are converting waste carbon pollution into new fuels and chemicals – providing vital greenhouse gas savings to hard to decarbonise sectors. She worked closely with RSB during its certification of LanzaTech’s ground-breaking demonstration facility which showed the power of biology to turn industrial emissions into fuel. Having played an active role at RSB for many years, she has been instrumental in developing our approach to Wastes and Residues, Advanced Fuels and Advanced Products and has driven LanzaTech’s commitment to sustainability in its technology.

Laurel will now provide oversight and direction to the development of RSB, in partnership with Maiju, as Vice Chair of the Board. Explaining her commitment to RSB and the sustainable bioeconomy, Laurel says, “As CO2 emissions rise, we need a basket of sustainable options to support global decarbonisation efforts. Renewable energy is growing but we will continue to need sources of carbon for fuels and chemicals. RSB provides a path to sustainable alternative sources of carbon to make the things people rely on and use every day.  RSB’s leadership is ever more important to provide crucial support to stakeholders across the spectrum,  ensuring that truly credible sustainable solutions contribute to meeting our carbon reduction goals in harmony with other environmental, social and economic objectives.”

RSB is thrilled to welcome these dynamic and committed leaders to the helm of our organisation.

“With Maiju and Laurel’s steady guidance and long-term commitment to sustainability and RSB, the organisation is certainly in safe hands. Bringing leading industry voices to our multi-stakeholder roundtable, Maiju and Laurel will help consolidate RSB’s position as a best in class standard while further cementing the case for certification within their own industries,” says Rolf Hogan, Executive Director of RSB.

You can meet both Maiju and Laurel at RSB’s Annual Meeting in Berlin on 5th and 6th December 2019. More information here:






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