Working Groups

The role of the Working Groups is to develop the technical content of Standards 1 to 6, as well as make recommendations to SBP during the Standards Development Process.

The membership of the Working Groups aims to bring a balance of subject matter experts and other stakeholders representing both civil society and commercial interests.

With some 75 participating members we have a good representation of all our stakeholders across the Working Groups.

Initially, an independent Chair was appointed for each of the three Working Groups. Each Working Group tackled two of the Standards: Working Group A – Standards 1 and 2; Working Group B – Standards 3 and 4; and Working Group C – Standards 5 and 6. Having reached the milestone of public consultation on Standards 3 to 6, Alasdair McGregor (Chair, Working Group B) stood down from his role. With a reduction in the number and range of topics being discussed by Working Group B, its work has been combined with the work of Working Group C.

Adam trained as a forest ecologist and since the 1980s has worked in natural resources management, development and conservation policy and practice in Asia, Africa, Europe and the UK.

His early career was spent in development work ranging from farming systems research and community forestry in Nepal, to running a forest nursery in Cameroon and developing volunteer programmes in rural and urban development in Namibia.

For 17 years he worked for WWF in the UK on forestry, farming and food policy at a national, European and finally international level. Between 2006 and 2016 he was WWF International’s lead on palm oil and in that role was Vice-President of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, member of its Board of Governors and chaired its Standards and Certification Standing Committee.

He is currently a freelance consultant on a wide range of environmental and sustainability issues and is Chair of the SBP Standards 1 and 2 Working Group.

Alasdair first became involved in sustainability in 1998 when, as Director of the Forest Industry Council of Great Britain (FICGB), he sat on the industry group that helped to develop the first version of the UK Woodlands Assurance Standard (UKWAS.) From there he joined the Certification Body, BM TRADA, to lead their project to obtain accreditation for the Forest Stewardship Council’s chain of custody certification programme.

For the next 20 years he managed and developed BM TRADA’s suite of sustainability schemes, including FSC, PEFC, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), UTZ (now Rainforest Alliance) sustainable programmes for coffee, tea and cocoa, as well as BM TRADA’s own Responsibly Sourced certification schemes for timber and soy bean. With RSPO he worked on their Trade and Traceability Working Group for eight years and helped to develop and launch a credible supply chain certification standard. Over the years, he has worked on various ISO standards committees looking at different approaches to chain of custody certification.

In July 2019, Alasdair set up his own consultancy, ACM Woodlands Ltd. He is Chair of the SBP Standards 3 and 4 Working Group.

Julien started his career as a design engineer for nuclear and combined cycle power plants, before returning to Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL, Belgium) in 2008.

In 2016, he was appointed as a professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), where he worked in the fluid mechanics and thermodynamics research group, FLOW, continuing his research on experimental combustion. In 2019, he became head of FLOW and co-head of the VUB-ULB joint research group BURN. He is also the coordinator of the biomass work program of the Belgian Energy Research Alliance (BERA) and a board member of the Joint Program Bioenergy of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).

Julien holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCL and a PhD in biomass combustion, which was developed in collaboration with the power industry, which he joined in 2012 as an expert, and then as technology manager, working in the fields of combustion, flue gas treatment, and emissions monitoring.

He is a member of SBP’s Stakeholder Advisory Group and Chair the SBP Standards 5 and 6 Working Group C.

A number of Sub-groups have been set up to deal with the many and varied topics that have been identified as relevant to the Standards Development Process. The number of sub-groups will change over time as new Sub-groups are formed (on an as-needed basis) and existing Sub-groups are stood down on completion of their tasks.

Our management guide for Sub-groups details working methods and a full list of the sub-groups, their tasks and membership.

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