SBP Directorate Changes

SBP has today announced the appointment of Francis Sullivan as its independent, non-executive Chair, effective from 1 July 2018. The appointment marks the first step in the implementation of SBP’s new, multi-stakeholder governance model.

Francis, currently a Senior Adviser at HSBC Holdings plc, will replace Thomas Dalsgaard, Executive Vice President of Ørsted and CEO of Ørsted Energy Thermal Power, who has held the office of Chair since October 2016. Thomas will step down as an SBP director and Chair of the SBP Board coincident with Francis taking up his appointment.

Francis has a background in environmental science, specialising in forestry and land use, and spent the first 16 years of his career with WWF, the conservation organisation, in various leadership roles, during which time he played a major role in establishing the Forest Stewardship Council. He then moved to HSBC, the multinational bank, to lead its work on integrating sustainability and climate change mitigation perspectives into the business. After 14 years at HSBC, Francis brings with him a wealth of experience and understanding of delivering sustainability solutions in a commercial setting.

Commenting on his appointment, Francis Sullivan said: “I am delighted to be appointed as SBP’s first independent Chair. The transition SBP is making towards a multi-stakeholder governed organisation is in line with best practice as demonstrated by leading sustainability standards. It is a bold and positive step to balance environmental, social and commercial interests on the Board. I look forward to playing a full part in the implementation of the new arrangements to achieve SBP’s vision”.

Thomas Dalsgaard, who led the search and selection process, commented: “I am pleased that Francis has accepted the role of independent Chair. Francis’ strong background and experience make him well equipped to provide leadership to the SBP Board during the transformation to a multi-stakeholder organisation. I am confident that I shall be leaving SBP in safe and competent hands”.

SBP Temporarily Withdraws Application from Dutch SDE+ Subsidy Scheme Assessment Procedure

In August 2017, SBP submitted its certification system to the Dutch regulator for benchmarking against the requirements of the Dutch SDE+ subsidy scheme. ADBE, the Commission responsible for carrying out the benchmarking, has concluded their preliminary assessment. The assessment, whilst positive, identified several areas that would need to be addressed should SBP wish to achieve full compliance with the requirements of SDE+.

The assessment procedure was developed on the assumption that certification schemes would not be modified as a result of the findings. However, having received the preliminary assessment and considered its findings, SBP has taken the decision to modify its certification system to incorporate certain specific requirements of SDE+.

The nature of the assessment procedure means that SBP must first withdraw its current application and then make a new submission, which incorporates the necessary modifications. The new submission will focus on biomass produced from secondary feedstock only, with the aim of enabling the Dutch market to be supplied with biomass carrying an SBP claim. The modifications are not expected to have any material impact on companies in the supply chain.

In parallel, SBP will determine the market demand for biomass produced from primary feedstock, and should there be sufficient demand SBP will consider further modifications to meet the SDE+ requirements specific to primary feedstock.

The Dutch regulator has confirmed that, for the interim period, which is expected to run until the end of 2018, the SBP Chain of Custody system in combination with FSC and PEFC endorsed Forest Management claims, can be used to demonstrate compliance with the Dutch sustainability requirements.