Gaps and Research Demand for Sustainability Certification and Standardisation in a Sustainable Bio-Based Economy in the EU

Stefan Majer, Simone Wurster, David Moosmann, Luana Ladu, Beike Sumfleth and Daniela Thrän

The concept of the bio-based economy has gained increasing attention and importance in recent years. It is seen as a chance to reduce the dependency on fossil resources while securing a sustainable supply of energy, water, and raw materials, and furthermore preserving soils, climate and the environment. The intended transformation is characterized by economic, environmental and social challenges and opportunities, and it is understood as a social transition process towards a sustainable, bio-based and nature-oriented economy. This process requires general mechanisms to establish and monitor safeguards for a sustainable development of the bio-based economy on a national and EU level. Sustainability certification and standardisation of bio-based products can help to manage biogenic resources and their derived products in a sustainable manner. In this paper, we have analysed the current status of sustainability certification and standardisation in the bio-based economy by conducting comprehensive desktop research, which was complemented by a series of expert interviews. The analysis revealed an impressive amount of existing certification frameworks, criteria, indicators and applicable standards. However, relevant gaps relating to existing criteria sets, the practical implementation of criteria in certification processes, the legislative framework, end-of-life processes, as well as necessary standardisation activities, were identified which require further research and development to improve sustainability certification and standardisation for a growing bio-based economy.

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Bridging the Gaps for a ‘Circular’ Bioeconomy: Selection Criteria, Bio-Based Value Chain and Stakeholder Mapping

Kadambari Lokesh, Luana Ladu and Louise Summerton

Bio-products and bio-based value chains have been identified as one of the most promising pathways to attaining a resource-efficient circular economy. Such a “valorization and value-addition” approach incorporates an intricate network of processes and actors, contributing to socio-economic growth, environmental benefits and technological advances. In the present age of limited time and funding models to achieve ambitious sustainable development targets, whilst mitigating climate change, a systematic approach employing two-tier multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) can be useful in supporting the identification of promising bio-based value chains, that are significant to the EU plans for the bio-economy. Their identification is followed by an elaborate mapping of their value chains to visualize/foresee the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges attributable to those bio-based value chains. To demonstrate this methodology, a systematic review of 12 bio-based value chains, prevalent in the EU, sourcing their starting material from biomass and bio-waste, has been undertaken. The selected value chains are mapped to visualize the linkages and interactions between the different stages, chain actors, employed conversion routes, product application and existing/potential end-of-life options. This approach will help chain-actors, particularly investors and policy-makers, understand the complexities of such multi-actor systems and make informed decisions.

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EURAS Conference 2019

The 24th edition of the EURAS Conference will be held in Rome on the 13-15 June 2019. The conference theme is “Standards for a Bio-Based Economy”.

Download here the Call for Papers!

Please send any enquiries to Piergiuseppe Morone and Francesca Govoni at: EURAS-2019@unitelmasapienza.it

#BLOG_The European Bioeconomy Network

Promoted by the BIOVOICES project and launched in May 2018, the European Bioeconomy Network (EuBioNet) is a proactive alliance of EU funded projects dealing with bioeconomy promotion, communication and support.

The main goal of the European Bioeconomy Network is to maximise the efforts, increasing the knowledge sharing, networking, mutual learning, coordination of joint activities and events.

Interested to join the EuBioNet? Please click here for further details.

7th European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum: The impact of evaluating environment and climate policies

The 7th European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum (2018 EEEN Forum) will bring together evaluation practitioners, academics, policy-makers, representatives of civil society and other users of environmental evaluations to share views, knowledge and experiences about the impact of evaluating environment and climate policies in recent years.

Registration for the event is open until 12th November 2018.

For further details please click here.