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Principles and Criteria of the RSB Version 4

A RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials), initiative that brings together more than 130 industry leaders, environmental organizations, civil society, academic institutions and government bodies other than the UN, now set in 16/11/2023 revisions to the Principles and Criteria (P&C) from RSB version 4 (published in final version on the date of 19/12/2023).

About RSB

RSB promotes the transition to a circular and bio-based economy – creating a world where climate change is mitigated, biodiverse ecosystems restored and livelihoods improved.

What it looks like to advance the fair and sustainable transition to a circular and bio-based economy?

RSB understands the systematic and meaningful transformation to a biocircular economy as a three-step journey:

1) Innovate : where business visionaries begin to take decisive action

2) Build : where collaboration increases as sustainability becomes a differentiator

3) Scale : where critical mass is reached and an enabling environment is established

The Version 4

After a one-year pilot period, revisions to the Principles and Criteria (P&C) of the RSB were approved at the Formal Assembly of Delegates of the RSB, finalizing the latest developments in key sustainability requirements for advancing the circular and bio-based economy.

The P review&RSB C takes place every five years to ensure our world-class sustainability framework remains fit for purpose and guided by best practice. In the year of 2022, after several rounds of public consultations, RSB and its community of members have reviewed the P&C. The revisions were then presented and approved at the previous Formal Assembly of Delegates, with the condition that the proposed changes go through a pilot period of one year, in order to evaluate its viability in real scenarios.

In this year of 2023, operators participating in the RSB volunteered to test the revised requirements on continuous improvement, CLPI (free consent, prior and informed), GHG reduction limits, human and labor rights, food security, carbon only, water management, air quality, land use, and more. During this time, important insights were collected and feedback provided, which further improved these revisions to RSB's fundamental sustainability requirements.

In short, These approved revisions include:

• greater specificity around working conditions, particularly affecting agricultural operations and the evidence required for compliance;

• clarification of the approach for different types of conservation areas, making requirements more understandable;

• better writing and clarity on land management practices and their applicability;

• greater specificity in relation to toxicity levels for pesticide formulation; and • strengthening requirements on the use of invasive species.

The approval of these revisions comes at a crucial time, when policymakers across regions and sectors announce their ambitious sustainability goals, the financial sector explores more innovative models to finance meaningful change and multilateral organizations look for new ways to invest significant funds that create multiple positive impacts and resilient futures. In all these areas, the RSB sustainability framework is often highlighted as the most credible example to guide the advancement of the biocircular economy.

“RSB thanks our certified operators and participating members, who we have collaborated with and who have tested proposed changes to the RSB Principles and Criteria over the past year. This process ensured that all updates are robust, clear and will make a genuine contribution to ensuring that positive impacts can be created by the biocircular economy.”, said the Technical Director of RSB, Nicola Noponen .

"That's RSB, a growing network of thought leaders, innovative, Professionals and business leaders came together with a shared vision of a world we want to live in – where climate change has been mitigated, ecosystems restored and livelihoods improved. Now, having gone through this vital process of multilateral consultation, we are able to provide our community with the confidence to leverage our best-in-class sustainability framework and collaborate to create solutions that support this vision.” – Elena Schmidt, Executive Director of RSB.

The RSB Principles and Criteria (v.4), the fundamental document of our collaborative network, will be publicly distributed at the beginning of 2024. For any questions about our sustainability framework and/or associated standards, contact the RSB Technical Director, Nicola Noponen.

In general, The final document summarizes in the following points the changes suggested in this latest update, principle by principle:

Principle 1

o Introduction of clarifying comments on the scope of legal compliance.

the New Minimum Requirement (M.R.) 1.2 to clarify the use of the RSB audit checklist tool

Principle 2

o Criterion 2b. added to improve clarity on how R.M.. specific are related to monitoring and evaluation plans.

o The use and name of the Impact Assessment Guidelines (RSB-GUI-01-002-02) updated to the current version, and MR 2b.4 and 2b.7 modified/added to improve clarity in continuous improvement planning.

o A footnote definition for FPIC is added.

Principle 3

o Criterion 3a was excluded.

o The GHG methodology has been updated, correlating with other internationally recognized structures (that is, Lane).

Principle 4

o New R.M.. added, including topics covering collective bargaining, labor rights, communication and inclusion of procedures to ensure compliance with labor rights, harassment-free work environments, maternity leave, better housing conditions, clearer and more transparent conditions for paying wages and monitoring key health parameters in high-risk work situations.

Principle 5

o M.R. 5a.6 updated, with more explicit requirements regarding social benefits.

Principle 6

o M.R. 6a.1 updated to include clarifying comments on how to include a Climate Change approach in Food Security.

Principle 7

of MR 7a.5, 7a.6 and 7a.7 include (respectively) references to cultural or spiritual importance to indigenous communities, ancient and threatened forests of High Carbon Stocks, areas of significant conservation value not included in international reference frameworks.

MR 7d.1 includes reference to the RSB-GUI Conservation Impact Assessment Guidelines-01-007-01 RSB.

Criterion 7.e updated with an improved general approach to invasive species.

Principle 8

Criterion 8.a updated with an improved overall approach to soil management and monitoring, calling P.O. performance with soil management for PGAS, increasing reference specificity for negative impacts on soil (that is, such as wind erosion versus water erosion), increasing the scope of soil topics covered in the standard, as soil structure, or chemical soil fertility, pollution and contamination, mention of the RSB-GUI Soil Impact Assessment Guidelines-01-008-01-RSB and topics covered (that is, conservation and agriculture), not only carbon seizure, organic matter and other topics as well.

Principle 9

o M.R. 9b.2 updated to include key indicators for monitoring water quality.

Principle 10

the updated MR 10a.2 with improved wording for better interpretation and greater scope specificity.

Principle 11

o Criterion 11b. The wording has been improved to include the circular economy approach.

MR 11d.1 updated with language to include a broader approach to biological agents.

o MR 11d.2 updated with wording that improves alignment with the WHO Guidelines on the toxicology of agrochemicals in formulations.

MR 11d.5 updated with additional topics to increase the scope of safe handling of agrochemicals.

Criterion 11f created to improve the approach to risk mitigation in cases where the introduction of new technologies applies.

Principle 12

o No updates introduced to Tenet 12.

More detail can be seen on here.

RSB presents Book tool & Claim Registry to drive sustainable decarbonization in the transport sector.

In the urgent search for sustainable decarbonization, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials(RSB) reached a significant milestone by launching the RSB Book & Claim Registry , an integral part of the RSB Book & Claim System.

The RSB Register is a secure digital tool, which should play a fundamental role in advancing sustainable solutions in the transport sector, accommodating a robust process to decouple sustainability attributes from certified renewable fuels. One of its main functions is to reduce the risk of double counting, a crucial step to ensure the credibility of emissions reduction claims. This achievement comes after more than two years of dedicated work by the RSB team and its members, reflecting its unwavering commitment to sustainability.

Visit website RSB Book & Claim Registry to discover more. And we have more information on here also.