SBP Launch of Standards Development Process

SBP will today officially launch its Standards Development Process. Stakeholders are invited to participate in a webinar at 3pm (BST) to hear more about the Process and how they can get involved. Webinar registration details below.

Carsten Huljus, SBP Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Our Standards Development Process is an important and significant piece of work that will shape our future as a sustainability certification system. We will be conducting a thorough review of all our standards and, where necessary, revising them.

“Stakeholder engagement is a key theme of the Process and we urge our stakeholders to get involved and make a difference”.

Simon Armstrong, SBP Chief Technical Officer, commented: “Our standards were first launched in 2015. Over the last five years we have learnt lessons around practical implementation and received valuable feedback from certificate holders and other stakeholders.

“Our external landscape in that time has not stood still, there have been advances in good practice, changes in legislation and awareness of key topics, such as forest carbon and biodiversity, has developed. We must now respond to all those factors”.

As with most things in life there is good and bad, right and wrong. Only sustainably sourced biomass is good biomass and the right way to contribute to achieving climate goals. SBP is the promise of good biomass and our aim is to ensure that our standards are fit-for-purpose, not only for the markets they already serve, but for emerging biomass markets across the globe.

We are calling on all our stakeholders to be a part of that promise and get involved at the start of the Standards Development Process by taking part in today’s webinar.

Please register at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4371730106088746509. For those unable to participate in the webinar, the presentation may be viewed at: https://sbp-cert.org/standards-development/events/ after the close of the event.

For more information on the Standards Development Process, including how to get involved and how to sign-up for updates, please go to: sbp-cert.org/standards-development/.

SBP Consultation on the Final Draft Regional Risk Assessment for the Province of Québec, Canada

SBP has today opened a public consultation on the Final Draft Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) for the Province of Québec, Canada. Interested parties are invited to provide written comments on the draft.

The Final Draft RRA for the Province of Québec, Canada has been prepared at the request of the Québec Forest Industry Council (QFIC) and the Québec Wood Export Bureau (QWEB), which together provided financial support for developing the RRA in accordance with SBP RRA Procedure v1.0.

The Final Draft RRA may be viewed at: https://sbp-cert.org/documents/consultation-documents/live-consultations/risk-quebec/. Interested parties are invited to provide written comments to info@sbp-cert.org by the close of business on Thursday, 7 May 2020.

Regional Risk Assessments are a key part of SBP’s focus on identifying and mitigating risks associated with sourcing feedstock for biomass wood pellet and woodchip production. The SBP certification system is designed to provide assurance that all feedstock is sourced legally and sustainably.

Feedstock certified at the forest level through FSC® or PEFC schemes and feedstock from recycled sources is automatically SBP-compliant. All other feedstock must be evaluated using a risk-based approach.

Typically, the Biomass Producer – a pellet or woodchip mill – is responsible for carrying out the risk assessment and putting in place mitigation measures to manage any specified risks such that they can be considered as controlled and hence low risk. It is the role of an independent, third-party accredited Certification Body to determine, amongst other things, that the feedstock evaluation has been correctly undertaken.

The purpose of a Regional Risk Assessment is to evaluate an entire geographic region and determine the risks associated with sourcing feedstock for biomass wood pellet or woodchip production from that region. Thus, the need for individual Biomass Producers to conduct risk assessments is avoided. Further, Regional Risk Assessments are particularly valuable where statutory protection for forested land is limited.

SBP Annual Review 2019 Published

The Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) has today published its 2019 annual review. The review is available at www.sbp-cert.org/documents/annual-reviews.

Carsten Huljus, SBP Chief Executive Officer, commented: “I am pleased to report that 2019 was another successful year for SBP. We have seen continued growth in the number of our certificate holders, furthered our geographic reach and, above all, put into practice our new governance arrangements.

“We have also reviewed our strategy, developed a three-year work plan to deliver that strategy, and made solid progress on aligning our operations with best practice, as demonstrated by leading sustainability standards. All of which puts us in good shape to make SBP future-fit and realise our ambition to position SBP as the certification system of choice for biomass.

“Looking ahead, we have some important and significant pieces of work to undertake. The preparations for our standards development process are well advanced and the launch is scheduled for Wednesday, 20 May. The programme of work will call on all stakeholders for their views, ideas and experience to ensure that our standards are credible and robust.

“Essential to our credibility and reputation is the impact we, as a certification system, are having in the marketplace. We plan to develop a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system to demonstrate our impact. And in our quest to introduce best practice across all our operations we will be embarking on a digitalisation project to enable a more efficient audit process and smarter data collection.

“Through our credible and robust certification system, assuring responsible practice throughout the biomass supply chain, SBP is the promise of good biomass and is an integral part of the solution for tackling climate change.”

COVID-19 Guidance Issued

SBP has today issued guidance on increased flexibility in certification audit requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, for certification bodies (CBs) providing SBP certification. Read the full guidance here.

SBP Consultation on Revised Final Draft Regional Risk Assessment for Portugal

SBP has today opened a public consultation on the Revised Final Draft Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) for Portugal. Interested parties are invited to provide written comments on the draft.

The Revised Final Draft RRA for Portugal has been prepared at the request of ANPEB, the Portuguese Pellet Association, which provided financial support for developing the RRA in accordance with SBP RRA Procedure v1.0.

The Revised Final Draft may be viewed at: https://sbp-cert.org/documents/consultation-documents/live-consultations/risk-portugal/. Interested parties are invited to provide written comments to info@sbp-cert.org by the close of business on Friday, 20 March 2020.

As an integral part of the public consultation, SBP and the Portuguese Association of Wood and Furniture Industries are hosting a one-day workshop in Lisbon on Thursday, 5 March to discuss the Revised Final Draft. To secure a place on the workshop please register via Registration link.

Regional Risk Assessments are a key part of SBP’s focus on identifying and mitigating risks associated with sourcing feedstock for biomass wood pellet and woodchip production. The SBP certification system is designed to provide assurance that all feedstock is sourced legally and sustainably.

Feedstock certified at the forest level through FSC® or PEFC schemes and feedstock from recycled sources is automatically SBP-compliant. All other feedstock must be evaluated using a risk-based approach.

Typically, the Biomass Producer – a pellet or woodchip mill – is responsible for carrying out the risk assessment and putting in place mitigation measures to manage any specified risks such that they can be considered as controlled and hence low risk. It is the role of an independent, third-party accredited Certification Body to determine, amongst other things, that the feedstock evaluation has been correctly undertaken.

The purpose of a Regional Risk Assessment is to evaluate an entire geographic region and determine the risks associated with sourcing feedstock for biomass wood pellet or woodchip production from that region. Thus, the need for individual Biomass Producers to conduct risk assessments is avoided. Further, Regional Risk Assessments are particularly valuable where statutory protection for forested land is limited.