There was no longer any secrecy about WWF International and IUCN NL having conducted an in-depth comparison of biofuel certification schemes to demonstrate how each of them performs in terms of sustainability, governance, assurance and other aspects. After a long wait, the two leading environmental organisations disclosed the results today, converging on many conclusions:
- The EU Renewable Energy Directive is a good step towards more sustainable biofuels but fails to address environmental and social issues in a comprehensive way. While heated debates are going on regarding indirect impacts, there are many direct impacts of biofuels, which are completely ignored in the European legislation. It is urgent to raise the bar on all these conditions.
- As a result, all the schemes focused exclusively on RED criteria are considered extremely weak on contributing to any environmental or social improvements.
- The reports also show a clear correlation between the governance and decision process through which standards are developped and the quality, robustness and credibiltiy of their content. Unsurprisingly, ISEAL members rank high in terms of governance and thus, on sustainability and assurance as well.
- Both studies recognise that RSB is the most comprehensive standard among all the EU-recognised schemes. WWF recognises that "The best-performing scheme out of the 13 looked into by the WWF analysis is the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) standard", while IUCN NL mentions that RSB "covers more sustainability criteria, with greater detail, and with more breath in terms of level of assurance” than any of the other Voluntary sustainability schemes.
These two reports bring about a clear, independent and credible evidence that not all biofuel standards were created equal and that the years spent by the RSB and other ISEAL Members (RSPO and Bonsucro) in thorough and extensive consultation processes are finally rewarded by this recognition of higher quality and credibility. It is to hope that companies and decision-makers will hear this message and opt for certification schemes, which truly bring about environmental and social improvements today and for tomorrow!