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The selection of certification schemes and labels in HARMONITOR

The growing interest in the EU Bioeconomy has also led to the development of a vast number of certification schemes for different feedstocks, products, intermediates, or blends of biobased and fossil product components. The focus of these schemes varies significantly, including schemes certifying specific quality characteristics of biobased products or schemes addressing a wider range of sustainability requirements.

For HARMONITOR, it was a crucial first step to define a sub-selection of certification schemes and labels (CSLs) which are used as starting points for the different parts of the project. But how to do this and how to decide which CSLs to select?

For this important first step in the project, we took a joint approach with all partners, starting with a review of available and potentially relevant (for the EU Bioeconomy) CSLs. To do so, we analysed existing literature and publicly available data, involving databases such as the ITC Standards Map (International Trade Centre 2021) and Label Online (Label online 2023). This step revealed a list of ~ 100 certification schemes as a first, initial inventory.

Since this list was still too broad and comprehensive, we further analysed the selected schemes to understand better, which CSLs are of specific relevance for the project partners and the different demands in the various work packages of HARMONITOR. For this purpose, a project internal questionnaire was developed. The questionnaire included questions regarding the relevance of the CSLs for each partner as well as about specific elements or characteristics in the schemes which should also be represented in the final selection.

Additionally, we wanted to make sure, that our selection included CSLs which are also relevant for the different value chains of biobased products, analysed in HARMONITOR. For this purpose, we matched the scope of the initially selected CSLs against the different value chain elements selected under WP 3 of the project.

These activities have finally led us to a selection of ~ 50 CSLs, which are used as internal starting points for subsequent activities in HARMONITOR.

The final selection of CSLs as well as the process for the selection are described in detail in the HARMONITOR Deliverable 2.1.

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