WWF International, IUCN NL and most recently Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) assessed biofuels certification schemes either against each other, or against a set of criteria.
Despite different methodologies and varying numbers and set of standard schemes examined, their findings largely concur:
- All find RSB to be the strongest, most robust scheme.
- All rate RSPO, RTRS and Bonsucro highly. ISCC was rated by all 3 organisations, but overall was found to be weaker than RSB, RSPO, RTRS and Bonsucro particularly because of the (cross-) acceptance of other EU RED schemes, which allows to sell biofuels from much weaker schemes under the ISCC name.
- All stress the importance of governance and decision-making processes through which standards are developed and governed.
- All highlight the importance of regular and rigorous, independent, third-party field level audits by internationally accredited auditors.
- All reference ISEAL and generally, the schemes that have been verified as being developed and operating in accordance with ISEAL (or have followed the ISEAL guidelines independently) come out on top in the comparisons.
Multi-stakeholder schemes i.e. those with the active involvement of different stakeholder groups on all levels of the scheme (standard setting, audits and management of the scheme) generally provide a higher level of environmental and social performance.
This means that the multi-stakeholder schemes will most likely result in better field-level implementation, as a solid governance structure, transparency and strong audit and accreditation requirements together increase the likelihood of field-level implementation.
More information on the individual studies and findings: