Helping you understand the RSB Certification process

We’ve put together these FAQs to help you understand more about RSB certification and how to get certified.

This section is constantly growing – if you have any questions that aren’t answered here – please do get in touch with us so that we can help.

  • What is a sustainability certification?
  • What is chain of custody certification?
  • What can be RSB-certified?
  • How long does certification take?
  • How much does certification cost?
  • What is a Certification Body?
  • What kinds of certification does RSB offer?
  • What makes RSB’s Certification the best-in-class?
  • Why should I choose RSB Certification?
  • What is a sustainability certification?

    Sustainability certifications are used for a broad range of products, approaches and issues to verify the sustainability of their production and use. Sustainability certifications are voluntary and should be assessed by an independent third party to ensure credibility.

    Operators should look for the most credible and trusted certification in order to ensure trust and positive global impacts.

    RSB is a member of the ISEAL Alliance and enjoys unparalleled NGO support.

  • What is chain of custody certification?

    Certified materials are often transformed and travel great distances before reaching consumers. Our Chain of Custody certification is a mechanism that enables the tracking of certified material through the supply chain, ensuring that the sustainability practices certified at production can still be accounted for along the supply chain – from primary production through conversion, processing and trade to end use.

  • What can be RSB-certified?

    RSB can certify any product or fuel that is produced from sustainable biomass, as well as products and fuels that are produced from end-of-life waste and residues – including fossil-based waste.

    To ensure true sustainability and traceability, we also certify complete supply chains.

    What is biomass?

    Biomass is a raw material of biological origin, excluding materials embedded in geological formations or transformed to fossilised materials. Examples of biomass include energy tobacco, sugarcane, grasses, reeds, flowers, trees, used cooking oil, carinata, camelina, glycerol, coconut and many more.

    What is an end-of-life product?

    End-of-life products are a specific type of feedstock generated at the end of the life of products that were not primarily produced or intended for the production of biofuel or biomaterial. In this way, they have reached the end of their intended supply chain, as they have been consumed, used, spoiled, etc. These end-of-life materials are diverted from disposal, thus reducing potentially harmful environmental and social impacts. Examples of end-of-life-products include municipal solid waste (MSW), used cooking oil (UCO) and wastewater.

    What are by-products and residues?

    By-products and residues are secondary products derived from agricultural, forestry, food or industrial production and processing chains, among others. Secondary products are not purposefully generated for their potential use as biofuel or biomaterial feedstock. These by-products and residues can be discarded or disposed of, but they can also be sold to specific markets (e.g. animal fats are often sold to the oleo-chemical industry), in order to increase the revenue of the production process.

    You may also find it helpful to refer to our Glossary of Terms which provides in-depth definitions for the concepts used in the RSB Standard.

  • How long does certification take?

    After the initial application, operators have 12 months in which to finalise their certification.

    Several factors will affect how long it takes for you to receive certification after your initial application:

    1. Preparedness – there are various supporting documents and data that you will need to prepare for your certification. We provide a comprehensive list to help you prepare for your audit. You can also engage our advisory services to assist.
    2. Auditor availability – you will need to liaise with the Certification Body to book your audit.
    3. Major non-conformities (non-conformities are instances of non-compliance with an RSB requirement; please see the Glossary of Terms for more information) – if your auditor finds major non-conformities in your operation then your auditor will work with you to set a schedule to resolve them in order for your certificate to be issued.
  • How much does certification cost?

    There are three different costs that you should consider: the application fee, the RSB licencing fee and the external audit costs, determined by your Certification Body.

    1. The application fee is a once-off $500 fee payable upon application to become an RSB Participating Operator. It is applicable to every individual application.
    2. The licencing fees for RSB certification are determined by a number of factors – such as the size of your production (in hectares or metric tons), the facilities you are certifying and what type of operator you are.
        1. Fees for Liquid Biofuels and Advanced Fuels
        2. Fees for Advanced Products
        3. Fees for Heat and Power

        Our Fee Calculation Tool (Excel based tool, automatically downloads in some browsers) can currently be used to find out which fees will apply for fuel producers.

    3. The audit costs are external and will be determined by your Certification Body based upon the specific requirements of your operation.
  • What is a Certification Body?

    The Certification Body is the independent, 3rd party that conducts your audit and issues your RSB Certification. They play an incredibly important role in checking operations on the ground, ensuring that the best practice defined in the RSB Standard is being met, issuing certificates and reporting violations.

  • What kinds of certification does RSB offer?

    RSB offers a range of different certifications which are dependent on several factors – namely the type of material and the region.

    For alternative fuel producers, RSB offers RSB Global and RSB EU RED.

    • RSB EU RED certification is recommended for any producers in the EU or producers outside the EU who will be selling into the region.
    • RSB Global certification is recommended for producers who operate and sell in other regions.

    For non-fuel biomaterials producers, RSB offers the RSB Bioproducts Standard.

    For groups of smallholders, RSB offers a Smallholder Standard to assist smaller farmers in accessing RSB Certification.

    For producers wishing to demonstrate low indirect land use change, RSB offers a low Indirect Land Use Change (iLUC) certification as a voluntary addition to our other certifications. This module is applied where operators want to demonstrate that that their activities are at minimal risk of causing indirect impacts – such a deforestation or increased food prices – through their activities.

    Learn more about these different certifications on our Working With The RSB Standard page.

  • What makes RSB’s Certification the best-in-class?

    RSB offers the most robust sustainability certification for biomaterials, offering both peace of mind and unparalleled credibility for operators in the bioeconomy. Companies, NGOs, brands, policy-makers and others worldwide acknowledge RSB as offering unparalleled credibility for the certification of truly sustainable biomaterials.

    RSB’s broad applicability, via our multi-feedstock certification, allows businesses to develop consistent messaging for their consumers and markets; enables a clear understanding of real contributions to greenhouse gas reduction and supports the credibility of zero deforestation claims.

  • Why should I choose RSB Certification?

    Selecting RSB Certification demonstrates genuine commitment to the future of ethical, sustainable and credibly-source biomaterials, while ensuring that your production meets global challenges including biodiversity, poverty, hunger and climate change. Regulatory authorities in the EU, North America and beyond recognise RSB’s certification, allowing preferential market access for RSB certified biomaterials.

    Here are just a few of the great reasons for choosing RSB Certification:

    1. RSB requires the most in-depth stakeholder consultation
    2. RSB’s certification process is risk-based, ensuring it is as cost-effective and user-friendly as possible, and effectively deals with the most pressing sustainability risks in every context
    3. RSB requires sustainability – not just traceability – in processing units
    4. RSB ensures zero deforestation.
    5. RSB has the only credible approach to indirect Land Use Change through our exclusive low iLUC certification module.
    6. RSB follows international best practice, as determined by ISEAL.
    7. Certification to RSB’s sustainability criteria requires compliance with 12 robust and principles for social, environmental and legal criteria.
    8. RSB’s certification is multi-feedstock (feedstock agnostic) – making it applicable for many different products, processes and facilities.
    9. RSB provides a stepwise approach to certification for smallholders, helping small scale farmers to unlock opportunities and access market share
    10. RSB has a cutting-edge approach to waste and residue materials, including non-biogenic recycled feedstocks
    11. RSB has an extremely robust approach to food security and water rights
    12. RSB is trusted and supported by NGOs worldwide, including WWF.

Your Business, Our Expertise

Our trusted advisory services are helping businesses to navigate the new challenges and opportunities presented by the development of a sustainable bioeconomy.