The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive sustainability programme the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) was reaccredited but the European Commission in September for demonstrating compliance with sustainability criteria, Biodiesel Magazine reports.
The RSB’s previous recognition was expiring, and in August the European Court of Auditors published a special report that found “weaknesses in the Commission’s recognition procedure and in the subsequent supervision of voluntary schemes”. It concluded that the certification scheme was therefore “not fully reliable”.
RBS’s director of marketing and communications Helena Tavares Kennedy commented on the European Count of Auditors’ report, saying, “There are some EU-approved certification systems that require bare minimum criteria and therefore do not guarantee truly sustainable practices, so we can see why they say there are weaknesses”.
Biodiesel Magazine said that in particular the report stated that the EC did not require schemes to verify if biofuel production carried risks such as conflict over land ownership, forced or child labour, poor working conditions for farmers or danger to health and safety.
In response, Tavares Kennedy told Biodiesel Magazine, “the RBS standard provides assurance on all these important elements”.
Tavares Kennedy also said the scheme was the only one to provide dedicated principles on food security and water, as well as a concept for dealing with low indirect land use change.