In May 2020, we launched our Standards Development Process. The Process was designed to encourage and realise a wide-ranging review, and where necessary revision, of our Standards with full stakeholder participation.
Three umbrella Working Groups and various topic-specific Sub-groups were at the heart of the Standards Development Process, and were tasked with delving into the detail of the Standards and, where necessary, making proposals and recommendations for revision.
In the first quarter of 2022, the Working Groups formally handed over their final recommendations to the Secretariat, concluding a significant piece of work. The Working Groups and Sub-groups, comprising a total of around 90 stakeholders, spent almost 3,000 hours in over 180 meetings over a period of some 80 weeks, with many hours of preparation, discussion and follow-up in addition. That input was supplemented by webinars, contributions from experts, and public consultations, as we sought to engage fully with all our stakeholders in an open and transparent way.
Pilot testing took place in the second quarter, involving Certification Bodies and a representative sample of small and large producers of pellets and chips, in the key producer regions of Canada, Denmark, Latvia, Spain and the USA.
Armed with valuable insights on clarity and practical implementation from the pilot tests and output from an additional public consultation on Principle 3 of Standard 1, addressing forest carbon, the Technical Committee and Standards Committee conscientiously scrutinised the draft Standards and released a final draft for public consultation in October.
By the end of the 2022, the vast majority of the content had been agreed by the Standards Committee, and efforts were focused on last outstanding items, supporting Instruction Documents and the accompanying guidance documents.
In March 2023, following approval by the Standards Committee the revised Standards were endorsed by the Board, and with that the roll-out of the SBP Standards (v2) was formally launched.