Family Forest Blog

Dutch Biomass Certification Foundation Enlists AFF to Help Reach Its Sustainability Goals

American Forest Foundation

March 19, 2020

The American Forest Foundation (AFF) recently announced that it has received $1.5 million in funding over three years from the Dutch Biomass Certification Foundation (DBC) for its sustainability assurance work. DBC is a non-profit entity that was established to promote certification and provide support to small forest owners in North America, where the majority of the country’s wood biomass supply is sourced.  

DBC connected with AFF for its deep understanding of, and ability to, engage small family forest owners, and its expertise in forest sustainability. AFF is uniquely positioned to not only engage family landowners and expand certification, but also to implement a comprehensive assurance system around sourcing from family woodlands, specifically, to fulfill the Dutch biomass sustainability criteria.  AFF’s wide range of tools and programs to support family forest owners through their journey to forest stewardship – all the way from recruitment to action to verification – as well as tools to analyze complex requirements, assess risks for companies provides DBC with opportunity to build a comprehensive solution to their small landowner sustainability goals.

Sarah and Adam Steen (Landowners, AL) with their daughters

DBC’s investment in AFF will be used for two key efforts:

  • Expansion of American Tree Farm System Certification: First, the Dutch funding will contribute to further engage small forest landowners in sustainable forest management and growing American Tree Farm System (ATFS) certification in the U.S. South. This work will help expand the certified land base for the long-term delivery of wood fiber to the Netherlands and beyond. With these funds, AFF intends to expand the use of its new tools that help support foresters in recruiting and onboarding small landowners to ATFS such as

    and, a landowner engagement system.

  • Development of a Sustainability Risk Assessment and Mitigation Strategy for DBC: Second, AFF will implement a risk-based approach, customized to the Dutch biomass sourcing requirements. This includes assessment of risks, verification and mitigation programming that will enable Dutch energy generators to verify compliance of their woods supplies with Dutch legislation. AFF, with its network of family forest owners, forest professionals, and conservation organizations, is able to provide measurable and credible mitigation that can affect actual change on the ground. This provides DBC with a greater assurance level and the opportunity for credible conservation impact.

AFF’s work with DBC will begin in 2020. For more information on the DBC’s investment in AFF, visit the press release.

For more information on AFF’s sustainability solutions for companies and those within the wood fiber supply chain, please visit our sustainability section or directly connect with Sarah Crow, AFF Senior Director, Sustainability Solutions at

American Forest Foundation

March 19, 2020

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