Woody biomass products used for energy production must meet SBP standards for use in all European countries

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Expanding upon its existing forestry programs, global public health organization NSF International now certifies woody biomass products to the Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP) Framework. SBP certification verifies that woody biomass products used for energy production, such as wood pellets, meet the sustainability standards for use by energy producers throughout Europe.

The SBP Framework sets standards for the sustainable production, energy efficiency and responsible sourcing of woody biomass products. Prior to SBP’s Framework, standards varied across European countries, making it difficult for woody biomass product producers to demonstrate compliance. Now, producers can earn certification to the SBP Framework through NSF International to demonstrate their compliance in European countries, saving them time, resources and avoiding potential legal issues.

Certification also verifies that raw materials were responsibly sourced and comply with legal, regulatory and sustainability requirements to be used by European power generators in addition to home use.

“Protecting our forests and natural resources is crucial. NSF International is joining other leading companies in contributing to this effort by expanding our forestry services to include the SBP Framework certification,” says Norman Boatwright, Manager of NSF International’s Forestry Programs. “By streamlining the process of compliance with European standards, it becomes more desirable and profitable for global woody biomass producers, especially those here in North America, to certify to the SBP standard.”

NSF International is currently accepted by SBP as an applicant and is progressing toward achieving SBP-approved status. In the next step to becoming an approved certification body, NSF must satisfy SBP of its competence to undertake an audit of a biomass producer against the SBP standards in a real-life situation. This process is underway.

While SBP fully recognizes forest product standards developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), SBP developed its framework to fill gaps in these standards pertaining to woody biomass products, especially wood pellets.

In addition to providing SBP Framework certification, NSF International is one of the largest North American certifiers for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and also offers certifications for the PEFC, FSC and American Tree Farm System (ATFS) schemes.

To learn more about NSF International’s SBP Framework certification or other forestry services, please visit NSF’s Forestry Services web page or contact sustainability@nsf.org.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with Norman Boatwright, NSF International’s Forestry Programs Manager, contact Kelly Ingerly at 734-827-6850 or media@nsf.org.

About Sustainable Biomass Partnership: The Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP) is an industry-led initiative formed in 2013 by major European utilities that use biomass, mostly in the form of wood pellets, in large thermal power plants. SBP's vision is an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable solid biomass supply chain that contributes to a low carbon economy.

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent global organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the building materials, food, water, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 155 countries, NSF International is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment. NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies create more sustainable products, operations, systems and supply chains.