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 info@sbp-cert.org.

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, RVO.nl, 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.”

Statement on Accreditation Status of DNV GL Business Assurance Finland Oy Ab

The Certification Body, DNV GL Business Assurance Finland Oy Ab (DNV GL Finland), has been suspended by Accreditation Services International (ASI) for SBP certification (effective 15 October 2018).

Details on the grounds for suspension can be viewed on the ASI website.

DNV GL has six months within which to clear the suspension. Failure to do so will result in termination.

Until the suspension is lifted, DNV GL Finland shall not enter into new agreements for certification, or conduct main (initial) certifications. DNV GL Finland shall, however, continue to conduct surveillance audits for existing clients during the period of suspension.

If you are a Certification Body or SBP Certificate Holder, see ASI’s FAQs on suspensions for further information.

SBP Approved for SDE+ Category 5 and Chain of Custody

SBP has today announced that its certification system has received approval from the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy for secondary feedstock (biomass category 5) and chain of custody, making SBP the first certification scheme recognised by the Netherlands as offering an end-to-end solution for secondary feedstock under the SDE+ subsidy regulation.

Carsten Huljus, SBP Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are very pleased with the Minister’s decision. Recognition of SBP is important to us as a certification system and to our Certificate Holders who wish to do business in the Dutch biomass market and make an important contribution towards decarbonisation of the energy sector”.

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, RVO.nl, to ensure efficient and effective practical implementation of the requirements.

In July, SBP submitted a second application for benchmarking against the requirements for primary feedstock (biomass categories 1 to 4). A decision is not expected until the end of the year.

Biomass Assurance Framework enters final test stage

Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP) has today published the response to its consultation on the Biomass Assurance Framework (BAF), a suite of five standards and processes allowing companies in the biomass sector to demonstrate compliance with legal, regulatory and sustainability requirements relating to woody biomass.

The response to consultation summarises the responses received and sets out the SBP’s decisions on the matters contained in the consultation issued in March 2014. As a result of the consultation exercise, BAF version 0.0 is now in use as a ‘beta version’ for final testing. Following a period of final testing, SBP expects to launch version 1.0 in the first quarter of 2015.

Peter Wilson, Executive Director of SBP commented: “We are grateful to all those interested parties which took part in the consultation exercise. Recognising that there is limited uptake of certification in some key forest source areas for woody biomass, SBP is working to develop solutions to address the challenge this brings and complement existing forest certification schemes.

“The Biomass Assurance Framework will benefit from continuous improvement over time as we learn by doing. SBP aims to provide a practical approach to inform the work of European policy makers and regulators, and at the same time facilitate trading of wood pellets across international markets.”