The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) is one of a number of sustainability standards schemes that have been approved by the European Union under its 2009 Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED). The RSB scheme is often referred to positively not only because the sustainability standard is considered to exemplify greater rigour than many of the other EU-approved standards in terms of their claims to protect ‘sustainability’, but also because it provides an example of a ‘multi-stakeholder’ model of standards development that is assumed to confer greater legitimacy on the sustainability standards that are produced. In recognising that standards processes are part of wider processes of neoliberalisation, this paper explores the process in which the RSB standard was produced. In doing so it considers how notions of sustainability embodied in the RSB standards were shaped not only by its ‘multi-stakeholder’ process, but also by wider influences that were brought to bear in that process, including the growing spectre of a ‘standards market’ produced by the EU’s approval of different schemes.
- round tables