Scope & Methodology


Waterland takes an integrated approach to sustainability that encompasses all relevant criteria and standards, including those of The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) and the FAO Bioenergy and Food Security Criteria (BEFSCI). Waterland has established a sustainability team that is responsible for our assessment procedures, training routines and also to ensure the incorporate the key principles that were formalized in:

  • RSB
  • ISCC
  • ISO 14001 on Environmental Management
  • ISO 9000-9001-9002 on Quality Management
  • ISO 26000 on Social Responsibility
  • ISO 31000 on Risk Management
  • ISO 22000 on Food Safety Management
  • International Labor Organization standards: ILO 29, 105, 138, 182, 87, 98, 100, and 111



Waterland Sustainability follows the procedures of the Natural Step, the PDCA cycle for action planning and implementation, and the ISCC and/or RSB assessment checklists for biomass production and traceability. The Natural Step is a science-based systems framework that has proven to be extremely effective by using a four stage ABCD method to help organizations move towards sustainability. The letters represent the following steps:

a) Awareness and visioning; after understanding the principles, one has to be aware of the system your organization works within. Members of the organization then create a vision of how they would like the organization to be. Organizations should also identify the service they provide, independent of the product, sparking more creative goals.

b) Baseline mapping; the organization analyzes what it has been doing currently and evaluates it based on the essence of sustainable development, which is "to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." This allows for the organization to identify critical issues, implications and opportunities.

c) Creative solutions; members of the organization brainstorm for solutions to the issues raised previously, without constraint and with the vision and potential actions, organizations back-cast to develop strategies for sustainability.

d) Decide on priorities; the organization prioritizes the different actions developed previously that help gear it to sustainability in the fastest and most optimal way, by asking a set of questions:

  • Does this action move us in the right direction?
  • Can this action be built upon in future?
  • Does this action bring an acceptable financial, ecological and/or social return on investment? This step involves step-by-step implementation and planning.


The PDCA (plan-do-check-act) cycle is a four-step management method for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products.

PLAN: Establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the expected output (the target or goals). By establishing output expectations, the completeness and accuracy of the specification is also a part of the targeted improvement.

DO: Implement the plan, execute the process, and make the product. Collect data for charting and analysis in the following "CHECK" and "ACT" steps.

CHECK: Study the actual results and compare against the expected results to ascertain any differences. Look for deviation in implementation from the plan and also look for the appropriateness and completeness of the plan to enable the execution. Charting data allows identifying trends over several PDCA cycles.

ACT: Request corrective actions on significant differences between actual and planned results. Analyze the differences to determine their root causes. Determine where to apply changes that will include improvement of the process or product. When a pass through these four steps does not result in the need to improve, the scope to which PDCA is applied may be refined to plan and improve with more detail in the next iteration of the cycle, or attention needs to be placed in a different stage of the process.

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