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Pinchot Institute for Conservation: Forest Certification Pathways and Sustainability Criteria in the International Trade in Wood Biomass for Energy

Project Overview

In 2013, The Pinchot Institute was awarded $20,000 to convene a stakeholder dialogue on European Union sustainability criteria for forest-sourced biomass material. This effort improved understanding, communication, and coordination among stakeholders in the U.S. and Europe about U.S. forestry practices and sustainability programs. The two-day workshop was hosted in the U.S. South and featured a field tour of certified and non-certified forests, engaging U.S. and European stakeholders to consider aspects of sustainable biomass procurement and methods of mitigating environmental risks along the supply chain. The project provided an opportunity for EU authorities to inform pellet producers regarding current and anticipated sustainable sourcing requirements. It also helped US-based forest managers and pellet producers by highlight existing wood procurement pathways and sustainability practices (including SFI forest management and fiber sourcing standards), and alignment with proposed EU rules.  The Institute generated a publically available presentation and briefing book containing the lessons learned from the workshop.

The grant contributed to the SFI Standard revision process and the SFI program’s alignment with EU requirements.

Project Partners

The Pinchot Institute’s project was also supported by the International Energy Agency’s Bioenergy task groups, The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, E.ON, Georgia Forestry Commission, Weyerhaeuser, MeadWestvaco Foundation, and Plum Creek.


About Pinchot Institute for Conservation

The Pinchot Institute advances conservation and sustainable natural resource management by developing innovative, practical, and broadly-supported solutions to conservation challenges and opportunities. The is accomplished through nonpartisan research, education and technical assistance on key issues influencing the future of conservation and sustainable natural resource management.

Project Resources

Project Overview PDF










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