Grown in Britain – Audit & Certification

Grown in Britain
Grown is Britain, a slight misnomer, is a scheme operating in Britain’s geographical area – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that demonstrates the provenance of timber products that meet the Grown in Britain standard by licence holders. Grown in Britain licence holders can be woodland owners, producers, manufacturers, traders and retailers of wood fibre and timber products.

A primary intention of the Grown in Britain is to ‘increase the number of existing forests and woodlands that are actively managed to a recognised forest management standard to create a more sustainable future for our forests or woodlands’ (Grown in Britain Standard September 2014).

Grown in Britain is aligned with the UK government Timber Procurement Policy (UK TPP) and provides a guarantee the timber in the product originates from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – the Grown in Britain geographical area, and can be demonstrated by licence holder companies with claims made on invoices, delivery notes and the instantly recognised trademark of Grown in Britain.

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A licence is voluntary and can be awarded by an approved Grown in Britain auditor in the absence of other certification schemes accepted by Grown in Britain (FSC and PEFC certification).

Relevance to Solid Biomass, the Biomass Suppliers List and RHI and RO
The Biomass Suppliers List guidance correctly states Grown in Britain as ‘Category B’ evidence. Category B essentially means not ‘Category A’ evidence which is at present only two recognised forest management certification standards, FSC and PEFC, which are recognised to meet all of the UK government Timber Procurement Policy (UK TPP) criteria. Grown in Britain certification is bespoke Category B evidence to demonstrate how the criteria are met by other means; your company certificate number and details with the provision of approved forest management plans and felling licences for the timber to be sold. This information can be uploaded onto your Biomass Suppliers List account.

The relationship to the Renewables Obligation Order 2009 (as amended) and the new Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme and Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2015 is that Grown in Britain can satisfy the sustainability land criteria provided a minimum of 70% of the final product burnt is Grown in Britain certified (GiB-S). 70% being ‘sustainable’ and meeting the sustainability criteria of the RO and RHI, the remaining 30% demonstrated as legal only during the Grown in Britain audit. Selling fibre sources, roundwood or forest residues as Grown in Britain certified can help operators of biomass stations comply with Ofgem requirements.

How to Sell Products and Make Claims of ‘Grown in Britain’
EnviroSense have approved Grown in Britain auditors and can conduct the audit. Contact us to start the process and we will ensure you are provided with an application form and proposal to be audited to the standard. EnviroSense shall conduct the onsite audit that is applicable to all companies except woodland and forest owners which is currently managed by desk-top assessment.

The key elements of the scheme are:

1.UK provenance
2.Legally felled and placed on the market
3.If the timber is from a forest or woodland, this is managed to the UK government Timber Procurement Policy requirements
4.Traceability of the amount of wood or timber received and sold of the above three points and meeting the Grown in Britain standard requirements for buying, receiving, storing, accounting, selling, labelling and promotion of timber and wood products

Please note that point 3 centres upon the mandatory requirement that if the wood is from a forest or woodland within the defined geographical area evidence must be demonstrated the forest or woodland has a UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) complaint management plan approved by either the Forestry Commission (Scotland or England), Forest Service (Northern Ireland) or Natural Resource Wales in addition to submission of felling licences for timber within the same forest management units.

The Grown in Britain Standard
A copy of the standard is freely available in on our resources page, or please do contact us and we shall send this to you.

The standard follows similar clauses to the FSC and PEFC chain of custody standards. The standard is currently under revision and due for re-release Q3 2015. The Grown in Britain requirements can be summarised as below and that is not particularly different that FSC and PEFC chain of custody standard requirements.

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Mixing Legal Only Timber with Legal and Sustainable of Biomass Electricity or Heat Generating Stations
Ofgem sustainability criteria amongst other points requires wood feedstocks to be overall a minimum of 70% sustainable and 30% legal. If timber is received by a biomass aggregator or trader holding physical possession, or for example a sawmill, which exclusively receive timber that is a mixture of timber from UK origins that in some cases is legal only and other cases from that is 100% Grown in Britain forest product (GiB FP – 100% ‘sustainable’) a generic percentage claim can be made on sold products. To comply with the the Ofgem sustainability criteria and compliance with the Timber Standard ‘Category B’ evidence, the percentage is best at a minimum of 70% to prevent the need to mix with more ‘sustainable’ timber in order to meet the 70%/30% threhold. This is indicated as below:

(A weight x 100% – sustainable) + (B weight x 0% – legal only) x 100% = proportion of sustainable material and percentage claim.
(A + B)

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Grown in Britain Pre-Audit
An option is to have a pre-audit of Grown in Britain, this can be completed in less than one day and provides clarification on what is required by the standard and the purpose is to ascertain what gaps are evident between how your company operates and the standard requirements.

The auditor will leave a Pre-Audit Report stating what actions are required by the company in order to demonstrate compliance and EnviroSense will answer questions to clarify matters during the audit, at the end of the audit and after the audit at any later stage when your company is reviewing actions required. It is our intention that your company fully understand the Grown in Britain standard requirements and what actions are outstanding to enable certification.

Grown in Britain Audit
EnviroSense personnel have been involved in auditing within the timber industry for over 20 years. Our auditing has included FSC and PEFC certification, Paper by Nature, wood recycling audits, ISAE 3000 attestation engagements within the biomass industry, environmental legal compliance audits, second party supplier audits and on-the-ground field verification of forest management practices.

Our approach is to work with the company and not raise negative objections. It is recognised that the scheme is voluntary and companies wish to have a degree of support opposed to a negative audit approach and creation of requirements above and beyond the audit standard requirements by the auditor which EnviroSense have witnessed by being present on many FSC and PEFC chain of custody audits in a consultancy capacity.

Do contact us for further information any if you have any questions:
Main office 01531 637396

Primary contacts for Grown in Britain:
Robin Askey: 07799 032253
Richard Watkins: 07785 930307