Joint Statement on the Launch of the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels Certification System

23 March 2011 | News story

The Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels (RSB), a leading multi-stakeholder initiative that supports the development of sustainable biofuels, will launch its global certification system during the World Biofuels Markets Congress in Rotterdam on March 22, 2011.

As international environmental organizations, we welcome the launch of the new RSB certification system, as we believe that it is crucial for biofuels to be produced in a way that is consistent with sustainable land use choices and natural resource management, contributing to both positive economic and social development.

Our organizations contributed to the RSB process, along with more than 100 organizations from over 40 countries, participating in the development of its principles and criteria, and the associated certification system. We feel that the stakeholder engagement process followed by the RSB, which followed ISEAL Alliance code of conduct for standard-setting process, enhanced the credibility and value of the RSB standard and certification system.

Protecting diverse ecosystems and carbon stocks, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to the fossil reference, and addressing social issues and supporting rural development are all key elements of a sustainable biofuels industry. We are pleased that the RSB certification system will recognize biofuels produced in such a way.

Regulators should also recognize this initiative and ensure that economic operators using this standard benefit from the various incentives for sustainable biofuels. To this effect, we would like to call on all relevant economic operators to make commitments with regards to the production or procurement of RSB certified biofuels to facilitate the adoption of the standard.

On a finite planet our impact is often greater than we realize. Standards and certification systems such as the Forest Stewardship Council and Marine Stewardship Council help create market conditions that support responsible management and certification through better management practices, reducing environmental impacts through every step of the supply chain. We feel the RSB will be similarly effective in creating these conditions for the biofuels industry.

RSB certification will be an important tool in advancing the sustainability of the global biofuels industry. We will closely follow developments in the adoption of the standard, and look forward to supporting its implementation and continual improvement in the years to come.

Contacts:

Christine Dragisic, Conservation International
cdragisic@conservation.org
Tel. +1 703 341 2783

Deviah Aiama, IUCN
deviah.aiama@iucn.org
Tel. +41 79 942 7670

Martina Otto, United Nations Environment Programme
martina.otto@unep.org
Tel. +33 1 44 37 46 91

László Máthé, WWF International
lmathe@wwf.panda.org
Tel: + 44 78 465 47 355