Canadian Biomass Magazine

SBP embarks on standards review process

May 4, 2020
By Gordon Murray, WPAC

Beetle salvage management area with Douglas fir retention near Quesnel, B.C. Photo credit: Moresby Creative. Used with permission from Forestry Innovation Investment.

On May 20, 2020, the Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) will embark on an official standards review process to occur over the next 18 months. This will be the first review since SBP’s six standards were first released in 2015 and a test of the multi-stakeholder governance that was implemented in 2019. Presently SBP’s standards cover feedstock compliance, verification procedures, requirements for certification bodies, chain of custody, collecting and communicating greenhouse gas data and calculating energy and carbon balance. Click here to view a summary of SBP’s Standards Review Process.

As WPAC’s executive director, I am a member of SBP’s Standards Committee and will be involved in reviewing and approving the new standards. Consultant and professional forester, Brenda Hopkin, is a member of SBP’s Technical Committee and will participate in reviewing the new standards to ensure they are technically sound.

SBP encourages all interested parties to get involved and present their views about what is working and what is not, as well as what should be included in the revised standards. Interested parties should click here to participate.

The scope of the review process is wide-ranging. All topics are up for discussion, especially:

  • Expansion into new feedstocks, new products, new markets;
  • Connection with UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially carbon and climate goals, biodiversity and social safeguards;
  • Forest and natural landscape sustainability concepts of other sustainability standards;
  • Recognition of other certification systems;
  • Updates driven by new legislation and best practices; and suitable impacts to monitor and evaluate desired and intended outcomes.

SBP is committed to following the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice for standard-setting, assurance and impacts. The organization intends to provide plenty of opportunities for all stakeholders to participate in the process by getting involved in the work of the various working groups, public consultations, events or simply by getting in touch with SBP.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (UK time), SBP will host a webinar to officially launch the Standards Development Process. Registering for the event will ensure that you are kept up-to-date with SBP’s progress. 

To register, click here.

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