Sustainability certification for biobased systems (SUSTCERT4BIOBASED)

This project provides important contribution to Missie B Klimaatneutrale landbouw en voedselproductie and specifically to MMIP B6 Productie en gebruik van biomassa. Especially relevant for the “Deelprogramma 3. Koolstof als grondstof is volledig biobased” where the transition from a linear fossil-based towards a circular biobased economy is supported. This project specifically fits within this program’s “Transitie-ordersteunende kennis en tools - Systeemstudies - Duurzaamheidscriteria, logistiek, en wereldwijde beschikbaarheid”. SUSTCERT4BIOBASED with its monitoring system will evaluate the trustworthiness and performance of voluntary sustainability certification schemes and business-to-business labels for biological feedstock and biobased products. It will thereby enhance knowledge on the sustainability schemes and ecolabels for biobased products. It will provide cost benefit assessment methodology from the adoption of certification and results from selected value chains that can be replicated in other biobased value chains.  

The lack of trust and concern of feasibility of sustainability schemes hinder the market uptake of biobased products. In order to ensure a sustainable transition to circular biobased systems, which is at the core of MMIP B6 Productie en gebruik van biomassa, it is important that credible and best performing schemes and labels get implemented and further adopted in the industry. For this purpose, SUSTCERT4BIOBASED will generate the necessary support instruments (knowledge, data, insights, and tools).

Existing sustainability certification schemes and labels for biological resources and for biobased products will be reviewed in WP1. In WP2, data on volumes of biobased products in global trade flows will be collected. In WP3, a monitoring system will be developed and used in the identification of the best-in-class schemes and labels. This will be followed up with assessment of feasibility from the adoption of best-in-class schemes and labels in WP4. In WP5, the results generated will be used to derive and communicate recommendations tailored for the 3 target groups (scheme owners, biobased industry and policy makers). In medium term, this will drive improvement of sustainability assurance systems, increase awareness of industrial actors on feasibility of certification, and support design of political measures to boost the uptake of best-in-class schemes and labels.