Joint Statement on the Recognition of the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels Certification System by the European Commission

19 July 2011 | News story

The Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels (RSB), a leading multi-stakeholder initiative that supports the development of sustainable biofuels, has received official recognition by the European Commission (EC) for meeting the sustainability criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and WWF today welcome the recognition of the new RSB certification system by the European Commission. We believe that it is crucial for biofuels to be produced in a way that is consistent with sustainable resource management, contributing to both positive economic and social development.

Our organizations contributed to the RSB process, along with more than 100 other 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 processes, 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.

The EC is the first regulator to have set legally binding sustainability criteria, and is now recognizing voluntary certification schemes against this standard. Thereby encouraging economic operators to use ambitious voluntary standards, like RSB. 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 a high performance standard.

On a finite planet our impact is often greater than we realize. Standards and certification systems such as Bonsucro (sugarcane sustainability standard) and the Forest 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 recognition by regulators, and look forward to supporting its implementation and continual improvement in the years to come.

Contacts

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

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