Stage 1. Application
A Biomass producer (BP) or a Biomass trader (BT) decides to be certified in conformity with SBP requirements and therefore chooses an accredited certification body (CB) to conduct certification. The BP or BT sends a certification application to the CB using the template authorized by the CB. The CB defines the audit costs as well as perspectives of the successful evaluation process, based on the application information about the Client. If input raw materials of biomass producer are certified in SBP-approved forest management scheme, FSC or PEFC schemes, then SBE process is avoided.
Stage 2. Concluding a contract
Having discussed the certification process, including BP’s tracking of the products origin and all successive processing stages, the CB makes a commercial quotation to the BP regarding certification costs and a certification procedure. Process and cost of certification depend on type of enterprise, amount of production sites and the process of Resource Base estimation. Once the quotation is accepted and all conditions are agreed upon, the CB and BP/BT conclude a certification contract. The contract is not bounded by the certification period.
Stage 3. Preliminary audit
A preliminary biomass production and biomass trader audit is not mandatory but is recommended to biomass producers in the aim of finding soft spots within collecting information on energy and carbon. It also allows the CB to obtain general overview of the client’s structure, while the client may get familiar with the SBP and CB’s requirements. If the pre-audit is conducted, it is stipulated by the additional agreement to the certification contract.
The main aim of the pre-audit is to define areas that may require additional work or close attention of the client before the main audit; the scope of certification is also clarified.
Based on the audit results, a summary report will be provided to the client including conclusions about the biomass production and biomass trader conformity with valid SBP requirements.
Stage 4. Management documents’ review
The BP and BT may provide the CB with the most important documents prior to the main audit, so that the CB could study specifics of the planning and management process in detail. This is necessary for the audit ’s planning.
Stage 5. Stakeholders’ consultations and Main audit
The CB conducts consultations with stakeholders (for a BP) and schedules a main assessment.
Main attributes of the main audit cover:
- report on resource base, developed by biomass producer;
- documentation system (incl. bookkeeping);
- training and information about the personnel;
- chain of custody control system (physical segregation of certified and non-certified biomass);
- products segregation (certified and non-certified);
- identification of the manufactured products;
- implementation of FSC or PEFC schemes;
- appropriate use of the SBP logo;
- inspection of approved chain of custody;
- entirety of business, social aspects, health care and safety requirements, claims management;
- SBP database on GHG and profile data, collecting and forwarding of this information;
- Critical control points where certified and non-certified materials can possibly be mixed, are identified at the enterprise.
Based on the audit findings, the CB provides a report to the Client; this report stipulates all non-conformities raised against the applicable SBP standards’ requirements.
Stage 6. Certificate issue and registration
Once the BP or BT eliminates major non-conformities and they are closed in the report, the report is forwarded to the Certification Committee which permanently operates under the CB. The Certification Committee decides whether the SBP biomass production and biomass trader certificate can be issued, information is forwarded to SBP, SBP registers the certificate in the SBP database and makes it available on its website. On the audit findings, CB prepares Short Public Report and makes it available on the website of CB, SBP and company. Commercially important information is excluded out of the report.
Stage 7. Surveillance audits
At least once a year the CB will carry surveillance audits of the certificate holder to monitor the implementation of conditions raised by the report. Main attributes of such audits include monitoring how resourse base is keeping as well as monitoring raw materials/biomass input/output, control of SBP database on greenhouse gases (GHG) and the SBP logo usage.
At least 4 (four) surveillance audits shall be conducted during the 5-year certificate’s validity period.
The entire certification process is not restricted by deadlines because enterprises’ readiness to certification and time required to eliminate potential non-conformities (in the case of preliminary audit) prior to the certificate issue differ.
The certificate is issued for 5 years whilst the Biomass producer or Biomass trader undertakes an obligation to conform to SBP and CB’s requirements throughout the certificate’s validity period.