New Gold Open Access STAR-ProBio Publication

Hybridised sustainability metrics for use in life cycle assessment of bio-based products: resource efficiency and circularity

 

Abstract

The development, implementation and social acceptance of resource efficient, circular, bio-based economies require critical understanding of the whole supply chain from feedstock to end-use. Trust, transparency and traceability will be paramount. Though life cycle assessment (LCA) is a universally chosen approach to fulfil this purpose, the nature of data required and the depth of analysis lead to complex interpretations of the findings. Herein, a new set of hybridised, first-line sustainability indicators, drawn from the principles of green chemistry and resource (material and energy) circularity, are reported. These flexible, potentially stand-alone metrics are demonstrated via application to an exemplary comparative LCA, incorporating the hybridised indicators including hazardous chemical use, waste generated, resource circularity and energy efficiency, from the “gate-to-gate” stages for the bio-based case studies and their petro-derived commercial counterparts. These metrics were observed to quantify critical new information relevant to our transition to a circular economy, bridging significant gaps in contemporary environmental impact assessment methodologies. Appropriate additional evaluations that examine the performance of metrics, when the embedded resource efficiency and circularity strategies are omitted, have also been undertaken and reported. The data drawn from employing these methods are crucial to inform and encourage operational optimisation, transparency in sustainability reporting and practices to a significant number of value-chain actors including manufacturers, policy makers and consumers.

Click here to read the full article.

STAR-ProBio Summer School

On the 5th of September, our colleagues Sergio Ugarte, Deniz Koca, Matthias Grill, Mathilde Crepy, Beike Sumfleth and Enrico Balugani have successfully conducted in Göteborg the STAR-ProBio Summer School “Sustainability certification and market uptake of bio-based products. Focus on the construction sector” as part of the EIT Climate-KIC Summer School on wood construction in climate change mitigation https://learning.climate-kic.org/en/courses/phd-catapult/wood-construction-in-climate-change-mitigation#introduction.

They have trained 20 PhD students from different EU Universities in the importance and developments of standards and certification schemes for assessing the sustainability of bio-based products used in the construction industry.

#BLOG_A new bioeconomy strategy for a sustainable Italy

The updated version of the Italian bioeconomy strategy has just been published!

Among other things, the document highlights the importance of promoting the use of sustainability standards, certification schemes and labels to support the bio-based market and the creation of a ‘level playing field’ between bio-based products and conventional products.

In this regard, the strategy explicitly refers to STAR-ProBio and the work it is conducting. A great result for our project!

Click here to download the updated version of the document.

WP7 meeting in Leipzig

A 3-day meeting took place in Leipzig to achieve the results expected within the WP7. The participants from Unibo, DBFZ, TUB, ECOS, USC and UWM worked together on how to assess the ILUC risk of bio-based products, define mitigation options to reduce it and identify a proper methodology for policy recommendations.

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.

Click here to read the article.

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.