The day-to-day running of the SBP is carried out by the Secretariat.

The Secretariat function is supported by GE Public Relations Ltd.

Carsten joined SBP on 1 May 2016 as its new, full time Chief Executive Officer.

Carsten has a wealth of experience and a detailed understanding of forest management and chain of custody certification schemes. With insights into the biomass sector, he understands the debate, recognises the hurdles that need to be overcome as well the requirements of potential solutions.

Prior to joining SBP, Carsten was the Managing Director of GFA Certification, part of the GFA Consulting Group (GFA), which in 2000 became the first German company to be accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Joining GFA in 2002 as a Director, Carsten built a certification business for sustainable forestry from scratch. He built strong working relationships with the many and varied stakeholders involved in the certification process. He understands well the views of stakeholders and is experienced in addressing their concerns.

Carsten holds a Master’s degree in International Forestry from Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Prior to joining GFA, Carsten spent a short period at Ligna Con as a research analyst and before that some time at GIZ (Argentina), a federal enterprise supporting the German Government in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development.

Simon took up the appointment of Chief Technical Officer on 1 February 2019.

Previously, since 2014, Simon Armstrong & Associates had been providing technical input to the work of SBP.

Simon himself is a forester by profession, having worked with harvesting companies in Europe, South America and SE Asia on research, aid development projects and commercial operations, latterly supporting harvesting companies to become FSC certified.

He completed his first FSC accreditation audit in 2000, working with Accreditation Services International (ASI) for more than 10 years on FSC and Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) accreditation, including piloting and developing the RSPO approval process and FSC compliance audit concepts. He also works with the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) on PEFC and Social Accountability Accreditation Service (SAAS) on SA8000 Social Accountability accreditation. He has supported a number of schemes, including RSPO, with standards and process development.

In the recent past, Simon has also been involved in scheme benchmarking for WWF and for the UK Government’s Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET), as well as supporting a UK Department for International Development project promoting a legality verification process in China.

Lauri joined SBP in March 2017 as Data Manager and Analyst. Before joining the team at SBP, Lauri worked for the Certification Body, NEPCon, as a Chain of Custody and Forest Management lead auditor.

Lauri has extensive experience of FSC and PEFC schemes, as well as hands-on experience with the SBP certification system as an SBP-approved auditor. Lauri was also responsible for organisational data management during his time at NEPCon, which included day-to-day management and development of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, training of staff and reporting.

Lauri holds Master’s degree in Industrial Ecology from Tallinn University of Technology.

Lauri is based in Estonia.

Agita joined SBP in March 2017 as its Office Manager. In her role as Office Manager, Agita will provide full support to the SBP Secretariat. Agita can communicate in English, Latvian, Russian and conversational Spanish.

Previously, Agita spent seven years as the Executive Assistant to the senior management team at NewFuels, the largest single pellet producer facility in the Baltic States. Joining the company at an early stage in the construction of the pellet plant, Agita gained broad experience of the production process and procedures. She was also involved in the company’s successful application for SBP certification.

Agita holds a Bachelors degree in English Language and Literature and a Master’s degree in Educational Sciences.

Agita is based in Latvia.

Roman joined SBP in April 2020 as Assurance Manager to oversee and manage SBP’s global operating assurance system. Before joining the team at SBP, Roman worked for 12 years at the Certification Body, NEPCon, as a Supply Chain Integrity Program Manager.

Roman is forestry professional with international experience within the forestry and timber sector, environmental auditing, assurance systems, and training delivery. As an auditor and manager, Roman has worked with many different wood processing, biomass, and paper companies in different parts of the world. Other experiences include leading projects, developing training programmes, organising workshops, writing technical handbooks, building assurance procedures, supporting quality management, and supervising a team of technical specialists and auditors.

Roman is a trained FSC, PEFC, RSPO Chain of Custody auditor, and was also a lead trainer in NEPCon’s FSC Chain of Custody and Controlled Wood Expert programme.

Roman holds a Master’s degree in Forest Industry from the Estonian University of Life Sciences. He has also participated in the Euroforester programme at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Roman is based in Estonia.

Melanie Wedgbury founded GE Public Relations in 2015, which since that time has been providing communications support to SBP. Melanie has over 20 years’ experience of media, government and community relations as well as policy analysis and development. Throughout her career Melanie has worked in a variety of senior roles in the UK electricity industry, including eight years at the Electricity Association as head of corporate policy, before moving to US-owned developer, Entergy Wholesale Operations, as director of regulatory affairs and then to Drax Group plc as its head of communications.

Melanie has directed a number of issues management campaigns, utilising the full range of communications skills, many dealing with complex environmental and sustainability issues. Also, she has experience of providing communications support for development projects.

Melanie holds a BSc in Materials Technology, a PhD in metallurgy and an MBA.