Past Consultations

See the outcomes of past consultations on RSB Standard development.

As new technology, research and sustainability issues emerge, the RSB works with its members to adapt the Standard. The RSB is a full member of the ISEAL alliance and has a formal process for how the RSB Standard is developed, adapted and reviewed by its members.

All major modifications require a formal consultation, in line with the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice, and approval by the RSB members.

Past Consultations

RSB Standard for End-of-Life Products, By-Products and Residues

Public consultation: Was held from April 30 – June 30, 2016
Approval by Assembly of Delegates: Not yet approved

RSB invited the public to contribute to the revision of the RSB Standard for end-of-life products, by-products and residues which defines how operators may use these feedstocks for biofuel or biomaterial production.

This RSB Standard covers specific terminology relevant for this context, defines applicable sustainability criteria and sets out requirements for traceability.

The review process is fully in line with the ISEAL requirements on standard-setting and includes consultation with the public and RSB members, followed by the approval from the RSB Assembly of Delegates.

Please find a summary of the process here.

Principles & Criteria

Public consultation: Was held from January 28 – March 28, 2015
Approval by Assembly of Delegates: Approved

Results of the public consultation were fed into the discussions among RSB members over the Version 3.0 of the P&Cs, which was approved by the RSB Assembly of Delegates in 2016, following the ISEAL Standard-setting Code (
Terms of Reference for P&Cs revision

The RSB Principles & Criteria represent the core of the RSB certification system. They describe the environmental and social requirements to be met by certified operators to ensure a sustainable production of biomass and biomaterials.

Please contact the RSB Secretariat for a synopsis showing all comments received and how RSB addressed them in the new version of the standard.

Smallholder Group Certification Standard

Synopsis of Consultation: Comments Received / Narrative

Public consultation: May 15 – July 16
Approval by Assembly of Delegates: September

RSB recognises the complex realities of smallholder production systems and is committed to making the RSB certification requirements more accessible to small producers. In turn, RSB hopes to facilitate small producers’ entry into the mainstream sustainable biomaterials market and improve their livelihood, as well as their communities.

The RSB is developing an adaption of the RSB Standard and certification process for smallholder groups. The adapted standard aims to provide small producers with additional flexibility in the compliance process through a stepwise approach and the waiving of certain requirements. The gathering of smallholders as legal groups, with an appointed representative is an important element of this adapted process. In addition, we are developing specific guidance documents to help smallholder groups throughout the entire process, including the collection of data used for the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Draft documents were developed by EPFL in partnership with AidEnvironment and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and reviewed by the RSB Secretariat. Before approval by RSB Members and Assembly of Delegates, a public consultation period is being conducted to collect additional feedback and suggestions. Any interested party is invited to submit comments and suggestions through one of the means described below.

RSB Theory of Change and Impact Indicators (February 2014)

Synopsis of Consultation: Comments Received / Narrative

RSB Standard Version 2.0

In November 2009, the RSB Steering Board approved Version One of the RSB Principles & Criteria (P&Cs) and the Certification System for pilot testing after public regional outreaches and extensive consultation of the RSB Chambers.

While the P&Cs describe the sustainability requirements that biofuel operators have to comply with the Certification System defines the rules to enable operators to make verifiable claims of compliance with the RSB. This system covers the entire biofuel supply chain and establishes mechanisms for chain of custody management, for claims and communications, and for a few other issues. The RSB Standard system includes additional documents, such as indicators, guidance and guidelines that provide operators and auditors direction during implementation of the standards.

Since the beginning of 2010, the RSB Standard is being field tested through several pilot projects in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. As decided by the Steering Board in November 2009, the feedback coming from these projects was used to revise and improve the RSB Standard (Version 1.1).Version 1.1 focuses on removing duplications of requirements and resolving contradictions between requirements.

Where pilot projects revealed opportunities for clarification, the Secretariat developed appropriate rewording. It also includes new wording for Principle 3, which reflects the consensus achieved by the Steering Board on Greenhouse gas calculation and threshold.

A one-month public consultation on Version 1.1 was conducted between the 8th of September and the 8th of October 2010. Participants were invited to submit their remarks and suggestions on the Principles & Criteria and associated Guidance by email and on the Bioenergy Wiki As established in the rules of the consultation, all comments are publicly available.

Almost 200 comments and suggestions were received from more than 35 organisations!

In the downloads section alongside this is the summary of changes from Version One to Version 2, including synopsis of the public consultation on Version 1.1,  the background documents for the consultation and the compilation of comments received.

Summary of Changes from Version One to Version 2 + synopsis of consultation on Version 1.1

Please note that some comments and suggestions may have not be taken into consideration for the following reasons:

The public consultation on RSB Version 1.1 is now closed! Results and summary of comments are available above

  • Please note that some comments and suggestions may have not be taken into consideration for the following reasons:
    • they are not applicable in the current scope of the RSB System (e.g. suggestions related to the use of solid bioenergy);
    • they do not relate to the proposed edits in Version 1.1; or
    • they contradict fundamental decisions of the RSB Steering Board.
  • The RSB Secretariat published a compilation of the comments received with the affiliation of the contributors.
  • Based on the comments and suggestions received through the public and the Chamber consultation, the RSB Secretariat drafted “Version 1.2″ for consultation of the Steering Board (October). The rationale for proposed rewording was included in this draft.
  • The RSB Steering Board considered Version 1.2 and gave further direction as to the development of Version 1.3.
  • The RSB Chambers held telephone conference calls in October 2010 to consider Version 1.3 and to provide further input.
  • The input from Chambers was integrated in Version 1.4 and presented to the Steering Board in preparation of its in-person meeting of November 3-5, 2010.
  • The Steering Board considered this new Version and approved the revised RSB Standard as an operational Version 2.

The adoption of Version 2 of the RSB Standard is not the end of the standard development process

The RSB seeks to be an operational certification standard and begin to issue its first compliance certificates in early 2011. The adoption of Version 2 of the RSB Standard is not the end of the standard development process, but rather the beginning of an evolving standard reflecting current technical, environmental and social realities. The biofuel sector is rapidly changing and the RSB will continue to be open and flexible to integrating new information and technology developments into the Standard to stay relevant into the next decade and beyond. Consequently, regular reviews and new rounds of public consultation on Version 2 will be organised in the future, following ISEAL Code of Conduct.

RSB Standard

About the Standard

The RSB Standard is regularly reviewed, and RSB continues to work on streamlining all the components.

RSB Standard

Standard Development

We help companies ensure sustainable production through a unique combination of characteristics.

RSB Standard

Call for Public Comments

RSB has a two week call for public comment period for any RSB certification applicant.

Case Study

ASSOBARI First Sugarcane Farmer Organisation in Brazil to Earn RSB Certification

ASSOBARI (Associação dos Fornecedores de Cana da Região de Bariri) is the first organisation of sugar cane producers in Brazil to earn RSB certification. The RSB certification is for the production and processing of sugarcane by 62 farmers and approximately 1,860 hectares of sugar cane plantations.

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