& Polymers

Chemicals and polymers are the building blocks of the plastics and materials we use to create countless products that sustain and enhance our lives, including — among many others — medical equipment, construction components, automotive parts, textiles, electronics, and packaging.

Demand for these products continues to grow — along with consumer awareness of the need to produce, use, and reuse them in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.

Chemicals & Polymers: Fast Facts

The global production of plastics amounted to 359 million tonnes in 2019

16% of crude oil goes directly into petrochemicals.

Industry is committed to tackling sustainability challenges through different feedstocks and production systems, with a focus on the use of bio-based and circular approaches.

RSB’s approach to Advanced Products focuses on positive impacts: demonstrating that products are produced more sustainably, using fewer fossil resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions


The ubiquity of chemical and polymer products has come to be associated with major social and environmental challenges, as well as contributing to climate change through their carbon intensive production.

The sector is looking for solutions today.

Industry Solutions

Bio-based Materials

Uptake of bio-based alternative feedstocks continues to grow. However, without sustainability certification, bio-based plastic production can result in food security being threatened, human, labour, and land rights being infringed upon, and environmental damage such as destruction of forests and water resources.

Increased Circularity

Waste feedstock offers an exciting solution for companies looking to increase the circularity of their production system. Increased technology, capacity and uptake for chemical recycling – which breaks products down to their monomer form to re-enter the production system – is helping to overcome the limitations of mechanical recycling.


Demonstrating GHG reduction across the supply chain enables industry to represent the climate impacts of complex production systems.

Practical Solutions for the Chemicals & Polymers Sector

The RSB Advanced Products Standard has been developed to support the chemicals and polymers sector with its transition to real and credible sustainability, by providing a system to trace materials and impacts through complex supply chains and processes – enabling industry leaders to make powerful sustainability claims about their products.

RSB Sector Lead

Technical Advisor

Sector Lead - Chemicals & Polymers

Download RSB’s Guide to Certification for Advanced Products

Key Benefits

  • Suitable for any feedstock, material, or supply chain — on a global level.
  • Work with existing infrastructure as well as new and innovative processes and facilities, thereby building on highly efficient supply chains.
  • One uniform standard for bio-based, recycled content, and attributed systems.
  • Approved through a multi-stakeholder, consensus-based process which is compliant with ISEAL.
  • Contain robust sustainability criteria recognised and trusted by WWF, IUCN and NRDC.
  • The global Bioplastics Feedstock Alliance (BFA) recommends RSB for credible supply chain certification of biomaterials and its multi-feedstock approach.
  • Utilise GHG calculation and tracking along the whole supply chain, for an accurate GHG claim on the final product.
  • Enable calculation of a clear metric to communicate the replacement of fossil materials.
  • Sustainability requirements apply to industrial operators, ensuring high levels of confidence in social and environmental claims along the entire supply chain.

Positive Impacts

RSB’s unique approach to Positive Impacts enables companies to demonstrate clearly that their products are produced more sustainably, with reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fewer fossil resources.

Products that achieve the RSB’s Advanced Products Standard certification are supported by three powerful claims about their positive impacts.

RSB Certified Advanced Products:

Download RSB’s Chemicals & Polymers Booklet

RSB’s Standard in Action

RSB-certified bio-naphtha is mixed with virgin fossil naphtha from UPM when it enters the INEOS O&P supply chain in Germany. The RSB-certified output material from their cracker is attributed (meaning the RSB sustainability characteristic is given to a selected batch of material) to the correct volume of ethylene ready to be sold to INOVYN for conversion to bio-attributed PVC – which is supplied to Tarkett for the production of PVC floor rolls and tiles which carry an RSB certification.

Positive Impacts Across the Supply Chain

Powerful Claims


By creating solutions to ensure the sustainability of evolving bio-based and circular production, agricultural and energy systems, RSB is helping to drive a just transition to a net positive world.

By 2030, the RSB will have supported the emergence of a new world bioeconomy founded on social, economic and environmental considerations that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals – reducing climate impacts, enhancing food security and rural development, and protecting ecosystems.

Through its most trusted certification scheme, RSB enables companies across the bio-based, advanced products, and circular economy to demonstrate real and credible sustainability.

RSB provides expert consultancy through its advisory services, which are grounded in the highest levels of social and environmental sustainability, and are designed to support our clients’ most crucial needs throughout their supply chains — as they seek to transition to a positive impact and circular economy.

By building partnerships across sectors, RSB is using the power of its sustainability standard through driving collective action to address the systems changes required to enable people and the planet to thrive.

RSB engages in targeted advocacy to support policy makers around the world in embedding meaningful and trusted sustainability – as outlined in the RSB Standard – into legislation, policy, and regulations.

What Others Say

  • “RSBu2019s Standard for Advanced Products is a truly groundbreaking piece of work. By focusing on the Positive Impacts of different types of advanced products, the Standard supports companies on the cutting edge of sustainability and the circular economy to make clearer, more credible claims that will help consumers make better choices.”

    Panu Routasalo
    Vice President, UPM Biofuels
  • “We are very proud to have achieved RSB certification of Olefins and Polyolefins from our Cologne site. Being able to offer Bio-Attributed Olefins and Polymers represents another concrete step for INEOS along the path towards a more circular and sustainable economy.”

    Liz Rittweger
    Business Director, INEOS Olefins and Polymers
  • “The RSB standard has shattered the glass ceiling, accelerating development in the bioeconomy space.”

    Jason Leadbitter
    Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, INOVYN
  • “The RSB standard for Advanced Products will be a critical standard supporting both the development of a circular and bio-based economy. It is unique in that it covers a broad range of possible feedstocks and supply chain options including bio-based products, carbon recycling and the use of bio-based feedstocks in complex integrated production systems and supply chains.”

    Susanne Veith
    EU Government Affairs Manager, DowDuPont Specialty Products (DuPont) Division
  • “Procter and Gamble is very pleased to be a member of the RSB. As a company, our long term vision is to use 100% renewable or recycled materials for our products and packaging. As we move to replace petroleum-based materials with renewable ones, sustainable sourcing will be key to ensuring our products are truly renewable for generations to come. Our new partnership with the RSB will help us to maintain the highest standards of sustainable sourcing as we embark on this journey.”

    Virginia Helias
    Vice President, Sustainability, Procter & Gamble

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