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Life cycle sustainability evaluations of bio-based value chains: Reviewing the indicators from a Swedish perspective
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden.
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, Energy and Circular Economy.
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden ; Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 10, no 2, article id 547Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Policymakers worldwide are promoting the use of bio-based products as part of sustainable development. Nonetheless, there are concerns that the bio-based economy may undermine the sustainability of the transition, e.g., from the overexploitation of biomass resources and indirect impacts of land use. Adequate assessment methods with a broad systems perspective are thus required in order to ensure a transition to a sustainable, bio-based economy. We review the scientifically published life cycle studies of bio-based products in order to investigate the extent to which they include important sustainability indicators. To define which indicators are important, we refer to established frameworks for sustainability assessment, and include an Open Space workshop with academics and industrial experts. The results suggest that there is a discrepancy between the indicators that we found to be important, and the indicators that are frequently included in the studies. This indicates a need for the development and dissemination of improved methods in order to model several important environmental impacts, such as: water depletion, indirect land use change, and impacts on ecosystem quality and biological diversity. The small number of published social life cycle assessments (SLCAs) and life cycle sustainability assessments (LCSAs) indicate that these are still immature tools; as such, there is a need for improved methods and more case studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 10, no 2, article id 547
Keywords [en]
Bio-based, Bioeconomy, Economic, LCC, LCSA, Life cycle assessment, SLCA, Social, Sustainability
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-33435DOI: 10.3390/su10020547Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85042379316OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-33435DiVA, id: diva2:1189269
Note

Funding details: VR, Vetenskapsrådet; Funding text: The research in this project has been funded through the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (FORMAS Grant Number 2015-14057). The final analysis and writing of the paper was also co-funded through the EU ERA-Net Sumforest project BenchValue (Formas Grant Number 2016-02113.

Available from: 2018-03-09 Created: 2018-03-09 Last updated: 2018-03-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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