The Sustainable Biomass Partnership
By Paul Homewood
In yesterday’s post, Wood-pellet fuel emits more carbon than coal’: U.S. watchdog to probe shock claims on power giant Drax’s ‘green’ supplier , it was reported in the Mail that the wood pellet supplier, Enviva, was being audited by the Sustainability Biomass Partnership (SBP), chaired by Drax chief executive Dorothy Thompson.
The SBS is now apparently responsible for such certification, following new rules introduced by DECC last year.
According to the SBS:
The Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP) is an unique certification scheme designed for woody biomass, mostly in the form of wood pellets and wood chips, used in industrial, large scale energy production.
SBP’s vision is an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable solid biomass supply chain that contributes to a low carbon economy.
SBP recognises fully the credibility of existing and well proven forest certification schemes, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) schemes, and does not wish to compete with or replicate them. However, there is limited uptake of certification in some key forest source areas and the aforementioned schemes do not yet cover all the key requirements of biomass users. Therefore, SBP is working to develop solutions, short term and long term, to address these issues and is in discussion with both FSC and PEFC to determine how these challenges might be overcome.
To date, SBP has developed a certification framework to provide assurance that woody biomass is sourced from legal and sustainable sources allowing companies in the biomass sector to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.
All very reassuring, I’m sure.
Until you find out that the members who make up SBS are all energy companies, who all have a vested interest in their biomass operations:
Each member company is represented on the Board. The only Board Member is Peter Wilson, ex Chief Executive of the Timber Growers Association and Executive Director of the Forest Industries Development Council. (A new MD has been appointed, but does not start till May).
It is ludicrous to expect energy companies such as Drax to put genuine forest sustainability ahead of their own interests. You might just as well put the fox in charge of the henhouse.