Over a hundred gather in Geneva for landmark RSB Annual Conference Open Day
15 November 2023 | Geneva, Switzerland. After the evening reception where RSB’s community reflected on ten extraordinary years of the RSB Association, an impressive group of expert speakers and guests gathered for the open day of the RSB Annual Conference. Global leaders, pioneers and innovators in the bioeconomy shared personal stories and lessons learnt – all of whom urged attendees to take these experiences and use them to fulfil our urgent sustainability ambitions.
In partnership with The Boeing Company, Gevo, Inc., IFF and Vitol, the RSB Annual Conference kicked off the night before with an exclusive evening reception for dear friends, long-term partners and RSB members who have been instrumental in RSB’s success this past decade. Building on that momentum, we hosted the Open Day at the President Wilson Hotel, with almost 150 attendees joining for a full-day of insightful and interactive sessions. See below for a summary of these sessions.
Sustainable Vision to Reality: Bridging the gaps for collective impacts
In the first session of the day, RSB’s Technical Director, Nicola Noponen was joined on stage by Canopy’s Senior Corporate Campaigner, Neva Murtha, IFF’s Venture Director, Christian Lenges, and Nestlé’s Senior R&D Expert of Packaging Environmental Sustainability, Lars Lundquist. They looked at how RSB’s sustainability framework, which is widely acknowledged as uniquely credible and robust for supporting the development of the biocircular economy, is being used by leading NGOs, as well as brands, to drive better sustainability performance. It was a thoroughly engaging session – a perfect to start the Open Day – in which the complexities and practicalities of bringing a sustainable vision to reality were unpacked and investigated, with the panelists all emphasising the importance of having a robust standard to guide their collective impacts.
Fostering Sustainable Landscapes: Bioeconomy’s building blocks
This session was split into two parts. First, RSB’s Executive Director Elena Schmidt was joined by Smart Freight Centre’s Christoph Wolff and Biofuture Workshop’s Gerard Ostheimer. Then RSB’s Sustainable Feedstock Expert Alex Ehrenhaus was joined by Boeing’s Robert Boyd, SkyNRG’s Oskar Meijerink, and the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines’ Subhas Menon. In each part, the panellists took turns to explore the methodologies, challenges and opportunities of regional bioeconomy development. Then, we took the opportunity to demonstrate how RSB is applying our own ‘landscape-level’ approach – grounded in our robust sustainability framework – to understand and analyse feedstock opportunities in Southeast Asia to regulators, financiers and project developers to build the biocircular economy.
Ready for Take-off? Book and claim as a credible decarbonisation tool
This was a highly anticipated session, which focused on the practical implementation of book and claim as an essential bridge for hard-to-abate sectors. The session featured TotalEnergies’ Clarisse Doucet, Airbus’ Julien Manhes, Norden’s William Boatwright, GoodFuels’ Marina Pimentel de Oliveira Ferrari, Microsoft’s Julia Fidler, DHL Express’ Bettina Paschke, RMI’s Laura Hutchinson and RSB’s Arianna Baldo. These fuel producers, users and buyers – all collaborators – came together to share the learnings and ambition of RSB’s Book & Claim system across aviation and other sectors. Together, they also looked at RSB’s model for registry recognition, as a globally accepted harmonised book and claim ecosystem, and finally, we looked at how RSB is working to increase trust on book and claim to a wider audience.
Innovation for Impact: Unlocking new approaches for sustainability certification
The final session, was a perfect end to an exhilarating day! First, RSB’s Elena Schmidt was joined on stage by the formidable Gold Standard CEO, Margaret Kim, who signalled that it was time for ambitious, disruptive action on sustainability certification. Then, RSB’s Nicola Noponen and Andreas Knoell provided more insight into the RSB Impact Alliance and Impact Incentives Programme, which they argued will create the enabling conditions to scale a dramatic and innovative shift in bioeconomy. Then, Nuseed’s Dan Lieberman, Gevo’s Nancy Young and LanzaJet’s Marianne Csaky, each showed how RSB’s ambitious sustainability framework can be put into practice by developing mechanisms that drive sustainability performance and create long-term positive impacts. And finally, Elena was then joined by 2bs Director, Bruno Berken, who spoke about partnering with RSB to create this kind of impact.
We would once again like to thank our headline sponsors – the Boeing Company, Gevo, Inc., Vitol and IFF – for their unwavering support and commitment to the just and sustainable transition of a bio-based and circular economy. In addition, we would also like to thank all our presenters, who shared their insights and expertise with us all. And finally, thank you to each and every one of you who came to attend the RSB Annual Conference Open Day. We hope you had a fantastic and fulfilling experience, and we look forward to working with you to advance the transition to a biocircular economy.
To read about the Welcome Reception on the 14th November, click here. To read about the approval of Version 4 of the RSB P&C on the 16th November, click here.