Canopy has been encouraging our brand partners and Next Gen Innovator partners to use a strong and robust certification system for agricultural inputs in order to ensure sustainable removals and address the host of environmental questions that come up around agricultural biomass.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) ensures food security, rural development and protection of ecosystems. The Standard covers the following environmental criteria: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Soil, Conservation, Water, Air Quality, Use of Technology, Inputs, and Management of Waste. The RSB Principals and Criteria have been developed with stakeholders from across sectors, regions, supply chains, governments and NGOs. They provide transparency about their membership and are committed to mitigating social and environmental risks and finding solutions. RSB can also provide a 3rd party certification of recycled inputs for textiles.

Independent 3rd party studies have concluded RSB is the strongest based on the scope reviewed. These all support Canopy’s conclusion about the strength and scope of RSB – we think of it as the FSC for agricultural residue inputs.

  1. Blue Angel Study, 2019
    Germany’s oldest eco label, Blauer Engel (Blue Angel), found that RSB is the only certification system for biomass that fulfils their own rigorous requirements to be recognised under their own approach. The Blue Angel study reviewed the Principals and Criteria of RSB and 9 other standards. RSB came out as the only standard fulfilling the requirements to be recommended without any constraint. It is an extremely in-depth study and covers social and environmental criteria, as well as the reliability of the data collection and the certification system. RSB scores highest in all categories bar one (and then only one point short, in the social category). For environmental criteria RSB Global scores 91/100 vs ISCC Plus Global’s 59/100. The full study is in German, but there is an English summary on page 25 of the full report (here). RSB summarised it visually here.
  2. WWF Water Risk Study, October 2017
    WWF Germany acknowledges RSB as having best practice among sustainability standards for Water Stewardship in agricultural supply chains.
  3. IUCN, Betting on Best Quality report, 2013
    Among the conclusions: RSB covers more sustainability criteria, with greater detail, and with more breadth in terms of level of assurance than any of the other VSS. NTA8080, Bonsucro, RTRS and RSPO also meet a good level of quality in all comparisons made. ISCC, Proterra and Greenergy can be considered to be of overall medium quality. REDcert and 2BSvs fall in the low-quality segment, with 2BSvs having the overall lowest quality among all VSS compared.
  4. UNEP and Consumers International, 2020
    RSB is recognized as the only label for bioplastics packaging that is reliable and addresses feedstock sustainability. This comparison also assesses the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) and the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS).