Sustainable Biomass Program

The Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP)
The Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP) was formed by a number of major European utility companies with the aim to help achieve a sustainable low carbon economy through to third-party certification of biomass as ‘sustainable’ in the absence of FSC and PEFC certification.


Fundamental Difference between the Sustainable Biomass Partnership and FSC and PEFC 
One of the objectives of the Sustainable Biomass Partnership is to provide accurate and verified greenhouse gas emissions data for the lifecycle of wood sources to the final installation to determine gCO2(eq) per MJ electricity or heat produced. This greenhouse gas emissions data is required by the major utilities who are working to reduce their emissions in a sustainable way and while FSC and PEFC certification provides assurances of the forestry management of the feedstock, the schemes do not provide information on GHG emissions data.

Basic Overview of How the Sustainable Biomass Partnership Feedstock Certification Works
SBP have made available a clear representations of how feedstock certification works:


In basic terms, feedstock can be received as FSC or PEFC certified and if under a FSC or PEFC chain of custody system with verified accurate lifecycle GHG, the feedstock can be sold as “SBP-compliant biomass”

If the feedstock is not FSC or PEFC certified, or contains only a proportion of certified material, then a Supply Base Evaluation (SBE) must be conducted. The SBE purpose is to evaluate and determine if the Sustainable Biomass Partnership sustainability criteria can be demonstrated. The principles of the sustainability criteria are based on the UK government’s Timber Procurement Policy (UK TPP) and reflects the Risk Based Regional Assessment published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the main difference being carbon accounting and management is included in the SBP sustainability criteria.

Scope of the Supply Base Evaluation – A diagram how it works


A variety of feedstocks can be included in the Supplier Base Evaluation. FSC and PEFC are currently the only two schemes that the Sustainable Biomass Partnership recognise as ‘certified’ and are exempt from a Supplier Base Evaluation. Post-consumer material, otherwise described as ‘end-of-life’ waste is also exempt from a Supplier Base Evaluation.

The Supplier Base Evaluation can include a range of feedstocks determined by your company such as:

  • Forestry residues: toppings, cuttings and branches
  • Processing residue: sawmill residues, chips and sawdust
  • Short rotation coppice (SRC)
  • Virgin wood: stemmed or roundwood
  • Windblown, diseased trees and trees removed under a Environmental Impact Assessment

How We Can Help – simplifying the Sustainable Biomass Partnership 

Although the new revised documents by SBP are much easier to use, navigate and read than previous versions your company may not wish to be burdened with understanding the scheme and wish to make progress ahead of competitors. Do contact us for advice and support.

EnviroSense can provide consultancy services to cover all needs in this area. For example, we can provide your company with support to:

  • Set-up the processes required for SBP certification
  • Develop and manage data collection required for your certification assessment
  • Calculate the the lifecycle GHG emissions of your wood fuels
  • Conduct any necessary Supplier Base Evaluations (SBE)
  • Work with the certification body and manage the certification process, or if your company is already certified, we can,
  • increase your existing certification scope to cover new feedstocks,
  • support you or your supplier in obtaining FSC or PEFC certification so precluding the need for a SBE.

In summary, we can support your company by delivering a number of solutions to enable your wood fuel to be sold as ‘SBP-compliant biomass’.

Getting Started
Contact us for further information about making progress towards SBP certification. Informal meetings to discuss your SBP needs can help identify potential scope, timelines and areas of focus.


t: 01531 637396