The Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) is a certification scheme designed for woody biomass, mostly in the form of wood pellets and woodchips, used in industrial, large scale energy production. It exists primarily to enable producers and End-users of woody biomass to demonstrate that the biomass is both legally and sustainably sourced and that it meets the relevant regulatory requirements, as well as the ability to collect and report on energy and carbon balance calculations for the full supply chain.
To expand the contribution of good biomass to the global bioeconomy.
There is limited uptake of forest-level certification schemes, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and national standards endorsed by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), in some key forest source areas (or wood baskets) for woody biomass. In addition, the schemes themselves do not yet cover all the regulatory requirements that users of biomass for energy production must meet, for example, complex issues such as cascading use of wood, indirect land use change and carbon accounting.
Therefore, SBP is working to develop solutions, short-term and long-term, to address both these issues.
The SBP certification scheme provides for the collection and carriage of energy and carbon data throughout the biomass supply chain. Furthermore, it enables the calculation of energy and carbon savings achieved by burning biomass in place of fossil fuel sources.
Data on biomass flows will be made available in aggregated form. Information on the Supply Base Evaluation of each certified Biomass Producer is publicly available.
SBP recognises the importance of emerging topics, such as carbon accounting and cascading use of wood, and that more information is needed on these emerging topics. The data collected and the energy and carbon balance calculations will, over time, help to build up a useful picture of the feedstock characteristics.
To have global applicability and recognition, and to facilitate the responsible use of good biomass that both meets our stakeholders’ needs and generates beneficial outcomes for climate, nature and society.
Compliance and oversight
Since 2019, SBP has been a multi-stakeholder governed organisation. Our governance arrangements bring together stakeholder groups representing Civil Society interests, Biomass Producer interests and those of Biomass End-users. Read more about our governance arrangements here.
Efforts are being made at all levels within SBP to engage with a range of stakeholder groups. These efforts include civil society, supply chain and expert representation on the Board, Committees and Working Groups, and consultation on Standards revision and all applications for SBP certification.
Regulators and/or national governments set the regulatory requirements and it is for the regulated companies themselves to demonstrate compliance. The SBP certification scheme is a tool that can be used to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.
Non-compliance with the SBP requirements will lead to suspension and subsequent termination of certification.