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RSB Principles and Criteria V4 Part 2

The five-year review of the RSB published in 19 december 2023 brought updates of principles and criteria in accordance with Good Practices adopted by NGOs, Business, regulatory agencies and updated standards followed around the world, as defined in the scope of the document transcribed below:

“A Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) is a global organization driving the fair and sustainable transition to a circular and bio-based economy.

Our sustainability framework, supported by 12 key principles and their underlying criteria, is the world's most trusted, peer-reviewed foundation for supporting innovative solutions to the climate crisis. Applying our sustainability framework demonstrates a commitment to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

You 12 RSB Principles and Criteria describe best social practices, cool, environmental and management for sustainable production in a circular and bio-based economy.

The RSB Principles are general principles of sustainable production and processing, while the RSB Criteria describe the conditions to be met to achieve these principles, immediately (minimum requirements) or over time (that is, three years – progress requirements). Compliance is checked by certification bodies recognized by the RSB.

Together with our online tools and related guidance documents, the Principles and Criteria help Participating Operators (OP) identify and manage sustainability issues in specific contexts, thus reducing risks for OPs, brand owners and investors.

The RSB Principles and Criteria are complemented by a set of standards, procedures and guidance documents, that constitute RSB's sustainability structure.

The RSB governance structure, based on consensus among our multi-stakeholder community of members, is designed to ensure a balanced decision-making process in the vital work of standard setting. This ensures the most credible approach to addressing key social issues, environmental and management in a comprehensive way.

As a result, RSB's sustainability framework was recognized by NGO, Business, regulators and others around the world as an exceptionally robust and practical model for promoting the just and sustainable transition to a circular and bio-based economy.

As an ISEAL Code compliant member, RSB follows the ISEAL Standard Setting Code, which defines good practice for an equitable standard, open and transparent configuration process. Also follows the ISO/IEC Guide 59:2019 (Code of Good Practice for Standardization) and the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) (Article 4: Code of good practice for preparation, adoption and application of standards).

The review of the RSB Principles and Criteria takes place every five years to ensure our sustainability framework remains fit for purpose and guided by best practice.

This document is the most recent version of the RSB Principles and Criteria (version 4.0).”

            Below we list and detail some of what was most modified and rectified in the last update., It is worth highlighting some definitions that help to understand how the principles and criteria should impact the operation as a whole:

Verb forms for expressing dispositions include:

• “Should” – Indicates requirements to be strictly followed to comply with this document.

• "It should" – Indicates that among several possibilities one is recommended as particularly suitable, without mentioning or excluding other, or that a certain course of action is preferred, but not necessarily mandatory.

• "It could" – Indicates a permitted course of action within the confines of the document.

• "He can" – Used for possibility and capability statements, whether they are materials, physical or causal.

            The principles are detailed 4, 7, 8 e 11.

Principle 4 – Human and Labor Rights – Operations do not violate human or labor rights and promote decent work and worker well-being.

4a – Workers will enjoy freedom of association, the right to organization and the right to collective bargaining.

4b – Slave labor or forced labor will not occur. Participating Operators must not engage in or support the use of forced measures, compulsory, slavery, trafficked or otherwise involuntary, as defined in the Convention 29 from the ILO.

4c – Child labor shall not occur, except on family farms and only when work does not interfere with schooling and does not put your health or the child's life at risk.

4d – Workers will be free from any type of discrimination, whether in employment or opportunity, with respect to gender, age, salary, working conditions and social benefits.

4e – Workers' wages and working conditions will comply with all applicable laws and international conventions, as well as relevant collective agreements. When a government-regulated minimum wage is in effect in a particular country and is applicable for the specific industrial sector, this must be observed. In the absence of a minimum wage, the salary paid for a given activity must be negotiated and agreed with the workers' union and based on an economic salary analysis of the operating context. Men and women will receive equal pay for work of equal value.

4f – Workers' occupational health and safety conditions must follow internationally recognized standards

4g – Participating Operators must implement a mechanism to ensure that the human rights and labor rights described in this principle are applied equally when labor is contracted through third parties.

4h – Participating Operators must implement and maintain a transparent and easily accessible grievance mechanism, open to all workers and contract workers

Principle 7 – Conservation – Operations avoid negative impacts on biodiversity, in ecosystems and conservation values, and contribute to protecting and/or increasing carbon accumulation. Applicable to raw material producers and their supply chains.

7a – Conservation values ​​of local importance, regional or global within the potential or existing area of ​​operation must be maintained or enhanced.

7b – Ecosystem functions and services directly affected by the operation must be maintained or improved

7c – Operations must protect, restore or create buffer zones.

7d – Ecological corridors must be protected, restored or created to minimize habitat fragmentation.

7e – Operations must prevent invasive species from invading or spreading in areas inside and/or outside the operation site.

Principle 8 – Solo – Operations must implement practices to maintain or improve physical characteristics, chemical and biological conditions.

8a – Participating Operators must implement practices to maintain or improve the physical characteristics, chemical and biological conditions.

Principle 11 – Use of technology, inputs and waste management – The use of technologies in operations seeks to maximize production efficiency, enhancing circular economy and social and environmental performance, and minimize the risk of harm to the environment and people.

11a – Information on the use of technologies in operations must be fully available, unless limited by national legislation or international agreements on intellectual property.

11b – Technologies used in operations, including genetically modified plants, microorganisms, algae and other biological or non-biological tools (for example, agrochemicals), must minimize the risk of harm to the environment and people, promoting and implementing circular economy strategies and will improve the operation's environmental environment and/or long-term social performance.

11c – Microorganisms used in operations that may pose a risk to the environment or people must be adequately contained to avoid release into the environment.

11d – Good practices for storage will be implemented, handling, use and disposal of biofuels, fertilizers and chemicals.

11e – Waste, waste and by-products arising from the processing of raw materials and biofuel or biomaterial production units must be managed in such a way that the physical conditions, soil chemistry and biology, water and air are not damaged.

11f – Introduction of new technologies that enable continuous improvement of social and environmental performance should be encouraged, when and if appropriate safety measures are taken before and during its use.

For further clarification see this matter, and also the official documentation, on here.