SBP accepts Certification Bodies as applicants

SBP has today announced that five Certification Bodies have been accepted as applicants and are now able to progress towards achieving SBP-approved status. The applicant Certification Bodies are: BM Trada, Bureau Veritas Latvia, Control Union, NEPCon and NSF.

The SBP Framework of standards and processes enables producers of woody biomass to demonstrate that they source their raw material responsibly and that it complies with the legal, regulatory and sustainability requirements applicable to European power generators. It also facilitates the carriage of energy and carbon data along the supply chain to the end-user. Under the SBP Framework the Biomass Producer, typically a pellet mill, is certified by a SBP-approved Certification Body and is responsible for ensuring that its feedstock meets the SBP standards.

To become SBP-approved, a Certification Body must first provide evidence that it meets the SBP requirements regarding its existing accreditations and it must also demonstrate that it has sufficient resources and competence to manage the certification programme.

The next step for an applicant Certification Body is to satisfy SBP of its competence to undertake an audit of a Biomass Producer against the SBP standards in a real-life situation. The first assessments are expected early next year.

Peter Wilson, Executive Director of SBP commented: “We have had a lot of interest from Certification Bodies and are pleased to accept BM Trada, Bureau Veritas Latvia, Control Union, NEPCon, and NSF as applicants and look forward to working with each of them as they progress towards SBP-approved status.

“This is a significant step in establishing the SBP Framework as the most efficient way for Biomass Producers to demonstrate they are meeting European legal, regulatory and sustainability requirements, and a milestone in establishing an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable biomass supply chain that contributes to a low carbon economy”

SBP regional risk assessments extended to Estonia and Latvia

In the summer, SBP launched a pilot regional risk assessment in Lithuania to identify potential risks in the supply of sustainable woody biomass from the region. That assessment is now at an advanced stage and the SBP Board has approved the extension of the approach to Estonia and Latvia.

Conducting further regional risk assessments will inform the consideration of wider adoption of the approach.

Biomass Assurance Framework enters final test stage

Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP) has today published the response to its consultation on the Biomass Assurance Framework (BAF), a suite of five standards and processes allowing companies in the biomass sector to demonstrate compliance with legal, regulatory and sustainability requirements relating to woody biomass.

The response to consultation summarises the responses received and sets out the SBP’s decisions on the matters contained in the consultation issued in March 2014. As a result of the consultation exercise, BAF version 0.0 is now in use as a ‘beta version’ for final testing. Following a period of final testing, SBP expects to launch version 1.0 in the first quarter of 2015.

Peter Wilson, Executive Director of SBP commented: “We are grateful to all those interested parties which took part in the consultation exercise. Recognising that there is limited uptake of certification in some key forest source areas for woody biomass, SBP is working to develop solutions to address the challenge this brings and complement existing forest certification schemes.

“The Biomass Assurance Framework will benefit from continuous improvement over time as we learn by doing. SBP aims to provide a practical approach to inform the work of European policy makers and regulators, and at the same time facilitate trading of wood pellets across international markets.”