SBP prepares for change

Today, certification schemes used in supply chains across the globe total over 200.

Founded in 2013, the Sustainable Biomass Program is a relative newcomer to that scene, but less than five years on it is about to make a truly transformational step by becoming a multi-stakeholder governed organisation. SBP’s independent Chair, Francis Sullivan, talks about what that will mean in practice.

Moving to a multi-stakeholder governed certification scheme was always the shared vision of SBP’s founding members. In 2013, there was some urgency to develop a solution enabling energy producers using biomass to keep pace, and demonstrate compliance, with emerging biomass sustainability requirements. With an eye on the future, members were keen that SBP would ultimately become self-funding.

[read more] Towards the end of 2016, it was clear that SBP was ready to make that bold move. A fully operational set of standards was in place and the organisation was in a position to secure sufficient income from its activities to cover its running costs.

Following the recommendation of the Advisory Board, an independent forum chaired by Julia Marton-Lefèvre, SBP undertook the task of determining an appropriate long term, multi-stakeholder governance structure and transitioning towards it. That new structure will be implemented in January 2019.

The transition is in line with best practice as demonstrated by leading sustainability standards and aligns with the principles of codes of ISEAL, a recognised global membership association for sustainability standards.

The new governance arrangements bring together stakeholder groups representing civil society interests, biomass producer interests and those of biomass end-users. The involvement of a range of interest groups at Board and Committee level will foster dialogue, decision-making and implementation of solutions to common goals.

Through the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, decisions will gain more legitimacy and better reflect a set of perspectives rather than a narrow view.

Over the coming weeks, we will introduce the new faces that will be steering SBP on its future course. We will start with the nine members of the Board, who with me will govern SBP, overseeing the implementation of our mission and vision, as well as setting the overall strategy, direction and budget.

Francis Sullivan
SBP Chair[/read]