Title: Environmental sustainability assessment of bioeconomy value chains
Publisher: ETA-Florence Renewable Energies
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC96118
ISSN: 2282-5819
URI: http://www.etaflorence.it/proceedings/
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Bioeconomy has gained political momentum since 2012 when the European Commission adopted the strategy “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: A Bioeconomy for Europe”. Assessing the environmental performance of different bioeconomy value chains (divided in three pillars: food and feed, bio-based products and bioenergy) is key to facilitate solid and evidence-based policy making. The objectives of this work are: (1) to map and analyse existing and accessible LCA data related to bioeconomy value chains in order to identify knowledge gaps; (2) provide a more robust and complete picture of the environmental performance of three bioeconomy value chains (i.e. one per each bioeconomy pillar). This analysis reveals that apart from few products (such as liquid biofuels, some biopolymers and food crops) the environmental assessment of bioeconomy value chains is still incipient and limited to few indicators (e.g. Global Warming Potential and energy efficiency). In this study, a harmonised procedure – the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology, which includes 14 impact categories – is used to estimate the environmental performance of tomato (food and feed), bioalcohols (bioenergy) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (bio-based product). Normalisation of the estimated impact scores is also preformed to evaluate the relative contributions of each value chain to the overall impacts from EU domestic emissions.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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