Canadian Biomass Magazine

Canadians named among SBP’s new board members

November 12, 2018
By Francis Sullivan

Nov. 12, 2018 - The vision of the Sustainable Biomass Program's (SBP) 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 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, UK.

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 K. Keppler, the Chairman, president 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.

Short biographies of the nominated board members are given here. 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.

Francis Sullivan is the SBP Chair.

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