THE NETHERLANDS CONTINUES TO SUPPORT RSPO’S BIOFUEL CERTIFICATION SCHEME
Kuala Lumpur, 13 February 2012 – The Dutch Emissions Authority has renewed the approval of the biofuel certification scheme created by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil – also called RSPO-RED scheme – until July 1st 2012. The RSPO-RED scheme was initially accepted from July 1st 2011 until January 1st 2012.
The Dutch government has accepted the RSPO-RED scheme on a temporary basis as the RSPO-RED scheme is currently being reviewed by the European Commission for approval at the European level, as required by the Renewable Energy Directive passed in 2009.
Under the Directive, the EU has set the goal of reaching a 10% share of renewable energy in the transport sector of every Member State by 2020. The Directive also aims to ensure that the EU uses only sustainable biofuels, which generate a clear and net greenhouse gas emissions saving and have no negative impact on biodiversity and land use.
Darrel Webber, Secretary General of the RSPO, has commented on the affirmative decision of the Dutch Emissions Authority: “The Netherlands is one of the largest importers of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) in Europe and makes up a significant number of RSPO member companies across a variety of sectors. We are glad that the Dutch Emissions Authority has decided to extend the approval of the RSPO-RED certification scheme, so that member organizations may continue to rely on it. This move by regulators sends a very positive signal to responsible producers and suppliers about the demand for their investments in CSPO.”
The approval by the Dutch government is based on a number of sustainability criteria, which include: Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels; Preservation of biodiversity; Preservation of carbon stocks; Preservation of peat land; Adequate and independent audits; Administrative traceability through the supply-chain system. The RSPO-RED scheme is one of the most comprehensive and credible sustainability standards and is not only supported by the Dutch government but also by parties across the palm oil supply chain.
Palm oil producers also appreciate the value of the RSPO-RED scheme, Puvan Selvanathan, Global Sustainability Advisor at Sime Darby – one of the world’s largest listed palm oil companies – and RSPO Executive Board Member comments: “The RSPO certification is unique in the way that it takes into account not only good agricultural practices but also responsible social and environmental management. The continued support for RSPO by the Dutch government is a clear sign we are moving in the right direction to make sustainable palm oil the norm”.
In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainably-produced palm oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with a satellite office in Jakarta.
RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry – oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs – to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.
Such multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Executive Board and project-level Working Groups are fairly allocated to each sector. In this way, RSPO lives out the philosophy of the "roundtable" by giving equal rights to each stakeholder group to bring group-specific agendas to the roundtable, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders and business competitors to work together towards a common objective and make decisions by consensus.
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