The Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) has today published its 2020 annual review. The review is available at: www.sbp-cert.org/documents/annual-reviews.
Carsten Huljus, SBP Chief Executive Officer, commented: “In a year that was characterised by the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to adapt to a new normal and negotiate our way through worldwide lockdowns re-thinking our approach to our assurance operations to maintain confidence in the SBP claim, the meeting arrangements of our governing bodies and the significant task of reviewing our Standards.
“Despite the challenging times, I am pleased to report that we continued to see growth in our Certificate Holder base during 2020, an increase of almost 50% on 2019 numbers, and we extended our geographic reach to 31 countries, up six on 2019. The volume of SBP-certified biomass in the market place reached a record high at 14.95 million tonnes, with every tonne produced and sold carrying the promise of good biomass.
“On the theme of data, new to the review is an analysis of the feedstock data we collect from our Biomass Producers. For 2020, the breakdown of feedstock by type and origin reveals that the vast majority of feedstock used in biomass production came from the stems of trees that were non-merchantable as saw timber, tops and branches, and processing residues.
“We made solid progress in what was the first year of our three-year work plan to deliver our strategy, including our three key priorities for the year of standards development, monitoring and evaluation, and digitalisation.
“Our Standards Development Process was launched in May 2020, and by the end of the year some 1,500 hours of stakeholder participation had been chalked up through the various Working Group and Sub-group meetings. In support of the Process a series of workshops, attracting over 650 participants in total, was held to explore the key issues in detail. The Process continues and is scheduled to conclude with the publication of a set of revised Standards at the end of this year.
“During 2020, we took the first steps to evolve our existing key impacts that we report against into a more sophisticated monitoring and evaluation system commensurate with the certification scheme that we have become. And our new audit management platform – the Audit Portal – was launched in October 2020, representing a significant leap in realising best practice across our operations. Through digitalising the routine aspects of certification, in terms of reporting requirements and processes, data entry and collection is much simpler and more robust.
“We have come out of 2020 stronger than we were before, taking ourselves to the next level as we explored different ways of functioning under the restrictions and constraints that were placed on all businesses.”