SBP Receives Formal Recognition as a Voluntary Scheme under REDII

The Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) is pleased to announce that on 26 September, the European Commission published the legal text of SBP’s recognition under the 2018 Renewable Energy Directive (REDII). The Decision entered into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), and so became effective as of 27 September.

REDII lays down requirements for, amongst other energy sources, biomass, to ensure that they can be counted towards the targets set in the Directive only if they have been sustainably produced and save significant greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels. SBP welcomes the Commission’s endorsement of our Standards’ reliability, transparency and independent auditing as being in line with the requirements of the Directive.

As Europe’s largest independent certification scheme for woody biomass in large-scale industrial heat and power production, steps will now be taken to activate SBP’s systems to allow the scheme to be used to demonstrate compliance with REDII.

It should be noted that Certificate Holders must take action to comply with SBP’s specific REDII requirements in order to be REDII-compliant; recognition of our scheme does not mean biomass carrying an SBP claim is automatically REDII-compliant. SBP will host a webinar on 25 October 2022 for Certificate Holders and Certification Bodies to outline the REDII requirements and the actions to be taken to ensure compliance with REDII. Certificate Holders and Certification Bodies are invited to register for the webinar here.

The link to the Commission’s publication of the Implementing Decision can be found here, while the publication of the Decision on the OJEU can be found here.

Standards Committee Decides Compliance with EU REDII will Become Mandatory

In November 2021, SBP met with End-users to discuss the treatment of the EU REDII requirements, specifically whether they should be mandatory for all Certificate Holders, that is, included as a core requirement to obtain the SBP certification. That discussion was followed, in December 2021, by a survey sent to all Biomass Producers and Traders seeking their opinion on the matter. The responses from both the discussion and the survey were mixed, with no clear consensus.

As part of the current Standards Development Process, the SBP Standards Committee is responsible for approving the revised Standards. In that role, the Committee is tasked with taking the decision on the treatment of the REDII requirements. Specifically, whether all Certificate Holders, regardless of producer or consumer country, should be required to comply with EU REDII.

After much deliberation, the Standards Committee has decided that the EU REDII requirements will be mandatory for all Certificate Holders certified against the revised Standards, when available. That means all organisations wishing to be SBP-certified, will be required to implement and demonstrate compliance with the EU REDII requirements in order to achieve SBP certification, irrespective of their destination markets. The decision ensures alignment of our Standards with the requirements of EU REDII and, importantly, maintains fungibility in our sector through facilitating international trade.

Guidance on the transition arrangements will be given to all existing and prospective Certificate Holders. In the meantime, for those wishing to understand more about what the EU REDII requirements entail, it is recommended that you refer to the draft Instruction Documents that have been developed to sit alongside the current Standards, namely, Instruction Document REDII: Bridging Requirements for Meeting REDII and Instruction Document 6D: Methodology for the Calculation and Certification of GHG Emissions Savings for REDII. Whereas those documents will need to be updated, they will nevertheless provide a good indication of the requirements.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat (info@sbp-cert.org) should you have any questions in relation to EU REDII compliance and what it means for your organisation.