A group of organisations, including the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Preferred by Nature, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), and the Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP), are joining forces as the Risk Information Alliance (RIA).
Increasing regulatory requirements such as the EU Regulation on Deforestation-free Products (EUDR) and market pressure for responsibly produced products are posing a serious challenge to businesses, certification schemes and producers in agricultural and forest-based sectors. The RIA will develop and maintain credible risk assessments with a range of partners and across commodities offering value beyond the EUDR. Through an innovative and collaborative approach, the Alliance will encourage risk data sharing in a pre-competitive sphere and cut through the complex and costly landscape facing companies and sustainability systems.
“Historically, businesses, certification schemes and other stakeholders have worked in isolation to evaluate risks. Without coordination, it is easy to imagine how they may come to different conclusions for the same indicators, wasting time, resources, and potential impact,” said David Hadley, Regulatory Impact Programme Director at Preferred by Nature.
“This alliance will create a common language, making sure that businesses, authorities and stakeholders in forestry and agriculture are working effectively towards the same goal. The more organisations that contribute, the greater the impact will be,” said Kim Carstensen, FSC Director General.
The RIA benefits from the award of a grant under the ISEAL Innovations Fund, which receives generous support from principal donor, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The ISEAL Innovations Fund supports ISEAL members to join forces in exploring new, ambitious solutions to key sustainability challenges. The grant has been awarded to SBP and Preferred by Nature and covers the two years to the end of 2025. It is matched in-kind by SBP and Preferred by Nature.
“This funding will play a pivotal role in gathering and sharing high quality risk data. We are excited to be working with Preferred by Nature and other organisations to bring about positive change,“ said Carsten Huljus, CEO of the Sustainable Biomass Program.
With a steering group in place to coordinate the initial development of the Alliance, it is intended to quickly extend the invitation to other organisations and over time attract a much broader circle of stakeholders.
“RSB supports the call for collaboration in navigating the challenges of increasing regulatory requirements and market pressure for responsibly produced products. Taking a risk-based approach is deeply embedded in our theory and practice, so we are encouraged by the formation of the RIA. We are proud to join this coalition of organisations to share risk information, and together, advance the transition to a bio-based and circular economy,” said Elena Schmidt, RSB Executive Director.
RIA encourages stakeholders and potential members and donors to connect for further information.
Members of the Risk Information Alliance (RIA)
Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®)
FSC is a non-profit organization that provides a proven sustainable forest management solution. Currently, over 160 million hectares of forest worldwide is certified according to FSC standards. It is widely regarded as the most rigorous forest certification system among NGOs, consumers, and businesses alike to tackle today’s deforestation, climate, and biodiversity challenges. The FSC forest management standard is based on ten core principles designed to address a broad range of environmental, social and economic factors. FSC’s “check tree” label is found on millions of forest-based products and verifies that they are sustainably sourced, from forest to consumer. www.fsc.org.
Preferred by Nature
Preferred by Nature is a non-profit organisation working to support better land management and business practices that benefit people, nature and climate in 100+ countries. www.preferredbynature.org
Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB)
The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) is a global membership organisation that drives the sustainable transition to a bio-based and circular economy. RSB’s sustainability framework has been developed by its multi-stakeholder membership, and is a uniquely robust and credible foundation for supporting innovative solutions to the climate crisis. RSB uses this foundation to develop projects, new knowledge and solutions that equip key decision-makers to deliver positive impacts for people and the planet. https://rsb.org/
Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP)
SBP is an independent, multi-stakeholder certification scheme initially designed for biomass used in large-scale energy production. We have achieved international recognition as a solution for Biomass Producers, Traders and End-users to demonstrate responsible sourcing practice. As a sourcing standard, we focus on the legality and sustainability aspects and attributes of feedstock used in biomass production. Our unique Data Transfer System tracks woody biomass transactions along the supply chain, collecting and collating data to enable life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions calculations to be made. https://sbp-cert.org/