SBP Annual Report 2018 Published

The Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) has today published its 2018 annual report. The report is available at:

Carsten Huljus, SBP Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We have delivered against our stated priorities for 2018, whilst continuing to grow our Certificate Holder base and geographic spread.

“During the year, we concluded the work on our governance transition process to finish the year with multi-stakeholder governance arrangements in place. Our annual report introduces all those stakeholders who have taken on a governing role under the new structure.

“Our presence in the biomass market has continued to grow, with just over 9 million tonnes of SBP-certified biomass produced and sold by biomass producers during the year, an increase of 80% on 2017. Our Data Transfer System ensures that all SBP-certified biomass from production to consumption is tracked and accompanied by verified data, including energy and carbon data.

“In evaluating how SBP makes a difference, we report on our six key impacts that define the intended outcomes from the implementation of our certification system. In addition to the activities of SBP, we report on stakeholder perspectives and the actions of those in the supply chain towards achieving our desired outcomes.

“Through maintaining a robust and credible certification system we aim to provide assurance of responsible practice in the sourcing and production of biomass used for energy generation. The continued development of SBP is critical to our ongoing success.”

SBP Technical Committee Members Named

Today, SBP Chief Executive Officer, Carsten Huljus, named the members of the SBP Technical Committee who will take up their positions with immediate effect.

Commenting on the Technical Committee appointments, Carsten Huljus said: “The Technical Committee is a representation of specialist expertise across the disciplines encompassed by the SBP standards, including forest management, feedstock processing, biomass distribution, as well as knowledge of auditing, certification and/or accreditation processes and procedures.

“The role of the Committee is, amongst other things, to provide advice to the Board on SBP’s technical and scientific functions, including but not limited to SBP’s certification and accreditation criteria and methodologies.

“The members of the Committee have been chosen to reflect the necessary specialist knowledge and to ensure balance across regional geographies.

“I am delighted to announce that the six members of the Technical Committee are: Kim Cesafsky, Manager of Sustainability at Enviva, the world’s largest producer of wood biomass fuels; Anders Hildeman, an independent consultant with several years’ experience in forestry and certification; Brenda Hopkin, an independent consultant with several years’ experience in forestry and certification; Peter Kofod Kristensen, Senior Lead Sustainability Advisor at Ørsted, a global renewable energy company; Rob Shaw, Technical Manager at Soil Association Certification Limited, a Certification Body for organic and sustainable certification schemes; and Martin Walter, Professor in timber trade, wood manufacturing and certification at the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, and an independent consultant.

“We are privileged to have such expertise at hand. The Technical Committee adds further strength to SBP’s multi-stakeholder governance arrangements and completes the transition process. Together, we can now focus on the task of governing the organisation.”

Certificate Holders Invited to Pilot New Data Templates

SBP is inviting Certificate Holders to pilot the new SAR and SREG templates. If, as a Certificate Holder, you wish to participate in the pilot please contact your Certification Body. Your Certification Body will provide full details of the pilot and the templates. We anticipate that the pilot will run for around two months, subject to uptake and feedback received.

Those Certificate Holders not wishing participate in the pilot should continue to use the current SAR and SREG templates.

SBP Consultation on Public Summary Report and Supply Base Report Templates

SBP has today launched a consultation on the Public Summary Report and Supply Base Report templates. The changes to the templates are proposed following feedback from users, and also to reflect anticipated modifications to the Audit Report on Energy and GHG Data (SAR) and Audit Report on Energy and GHG Data for Supplied Biomass (SREG).

The templates can be found at: Live Consultations. Interested parties are invited to provide written comments and feedback by Friday, 5 April 2019. All responses should be sent to

SBP Approved for SDE+ Biomass Categories 1 to 4

SBP has today announced that its certification system has received approval from the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy for primary feedstock (biomass categories 1 to 4). Together with our earlier approvals for biomass category 5 and chain of custody, SBP is now a pre-requisite for trading biomass internationally.

Carsten Huljus, SBP Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is very positive news for SBP and our certificate holders who wish to do business in the Dutch biomass market. The approval process has been extremely thorough and we have demonstrated that our system is sufficiently flexible to cope with new and changing regulatory regimes”.

The SBP certification system underwent a rigorous benchmarking exercise and was found to meet the relevant sustainability and management criteria. The latter evaluating SBP’s processes and procedures against requirements on transparency and openness, decision-making, stakeholder engagement and expert knowledge.

SBP is now working with the Dutch regulator,, to ensure efficient and effective practical implementation of the requirements.

Register now for the Stakeholder Advisory Group

Today, SBP Chief Executive Officer, Carsten Huljus, issued a call for action to all SBP stakeholders inviting them to register their interest in becoming a member of the new Stakeholder Advisory Group.

Commenting on the Stakeholder Advisory Group, Carsten Huljus said: “Following the success of the SBP Stakeholder Committee that was in operation from 2016 to 2018, we are keen to maintain a formal link with our stakeholders and harness their views and support. Stakeholder engagement with our many and diverse stakeholders is an essential part of our operations.

“I am issuing an invitation to all our stakeholders to register their interest in serving on the Stakeholder Advisory Group.”

The role of the Stakeholder Advisory Group is to provide a platform for stakeholder input and advice to support the work of the SBP Standards Committee in the development, implementation and maintenance of SBP standards and related documents. As well as other relevant activities towards furthering SBP’s development as a biomass certification system and making SBP an efficient and effective organisation.

The number of members of the Stakeholder Advisory Group is unlimited, although only one representative from each organisation/institution will be permitted.

Interested parties can register their interest by completing the registration form.

SBP Standards Committee Members Named

Today, SBP Chief Executive Officer, Carsten Huljus, named the members of the SBP Standards Committee who will take up their positions in January 2019.

Commenting on the new Standards Committee and its members, Carsten Huljus said: “The Standards Committee is a representation of SBP stakeholders, with the membership split 50:50 between those representing civil society and those representing commercial interests.

“The role of the Committee is to make decisions concerning certification system standard-setting and to provide views, advice and recommendations on the operation of SBP to the Board, other SBP Committees and the SBP Secretariat.

“The members of the Committee have been chosen to reflect diverse experiences, geographies and interests in relation to the work of SBP. All 12 members of the Standards Committee have now been selected.

“I am delighted to announce that representing civil society interests we have: Gary Bull, a Professor and Head of the Forest Resources Management Department at the University of British Columbia; Richard Donovan, a senior forestry specialist and advisor; Pedro Faria, a strategic advisor at CDP, the global disclosure system for managing environmental impacts; Nina Haase, an experienced certification practitioner and Board member of the Rainforest Alliance; Martin Junginger, a Professor of Bio-based Economy at the Copernicus Institute of Utrecht University; and Dave Tenny, the founding President and CEO of the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO).

“Representing commercial interests we have: Sune Balle Hansen, the Biomass Sustainability Lead at HOFOR, Greater Copenhagen Utility; Mihkel Jugaste, the Head of Quality and Certification Systems at Graanul Invest, one of the biggest pellet producers in Europe; Gordon Murray, the Executive Director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC); Gaby Rahn, Manager Biomass Business Development at Vattenfall Energy Trading, one of the leading energy trading companies in the European energy industry; Yves Ryckmans, the Chief Technology Officer, Biomass at ENGIE Laborelec, a leading expertise and research centre in electrical power technology; and Mike Williams, the Project Director for The Westervelt Company, a land resource company and forest owner in the Southeast US.

“We are fortunate to have populated the Committee with such a wealth of experience, and I am certain that SBP will benefit greatly from the breadth of informed perspectives that the members will bring.

“Across the 22 members of the Board and Standards Committee, we have representation from nine countries, giving an excellent geographic balance for the organisation SBP is today.”

SBP Announces New Board

Today, SBP Chair, Francis Sullivan, announced the nominated, new members of the SBP Board who will take up their positions in January 2019.

Commenting on the nominations, Francis Sullivan said: “The vision of a balanced Board representing multi-stakeholder views will become a reality in January 2019. Much work has gone into devising the right organisational structure that will completely transform SBP and align it with best practice as demonstrated by leading sustainability standards.

“At the head of our new structure sits the Board. Collectively, the Board members will steer the future course for SBP through providing good governance, with a mixture of oversight, insight and foresight.

“The Board will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of SBP’s objective to promote and maintain internationally, an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable biomass supply chain through the development and operation of an independent, third-party certification system. As well as setting the overall strategy, direction and budget for the organisation. Decisions on standard-setting are to be delegated to the SBP Standards Committee, and decisions on certifications remain with the independent, accredited Certification Bodies.

“During 2018, procedures for nominations and appointments to the Board were agreed and the search and selection process began. Nine seats were to be filled with an equal split between the interests of civil society, biomass producers and those of biomass end-users.

“Now, all nine of the nominated, new Board members have been selected. Once formally appointed the new Board members will serve, from January, in a personal capacity to represent their particular stakeholder interest group, and not their affiliated organisations. Each member has been chosen for his or her knowledge, integrity, expertise and support for SBP’s objective.

“I am delighted to announce that representing civil society we will have: Arnie Bercov, a recently retired President of a Canadian pulp and forestry union; Martin Porter, the recently appointed Executive Chair of CISL, Brussels; and Kathy Willis, a Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Oxford.

“Representing biomass producers will be: Vaughan Bassett, from Canadian pellet producer, Pinnacle Renewable Energy; Arnold Dale, the Vice President Bioenergy at Ekman & Co, a leading sales and marketing organisation in the forestry industry; and John Keppler, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Enviva, the World’s largest producer of wood biomass fuels.

“And representing biomass end-users will be: Thomas Lyse, Director and Head of the Fuel and Logistics teams in Ørsted Bioenergy; Peter-Paul Schouwenberg, the Head of Environment, New Energy, Regulatory Affairs and Stakeholder Management at RWE; and Will Gardiner, Chief Executive Officer of Drax Group, the UK’s largest renewable energy company.

“I am confident that we will have achieved a good balance of interests across the Board and I very much look forward to a positive and fruitful working relationship as, together, we embark on a new chapter in SBP’s development.”

SBP Prepares for Change

As SBP readies itself for the transformational step towards becoming a multi-stakeholder governed organisation. SBP’s independent Chair, Francis Sullivan, talks about the making the vision a reality:

“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.

“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.”