Sustainability is an important driver for the biobased economy. Sound insights into whether preconditions for sustainability are met, are an important issue for governments and businesses when determining policy or investment decisions.
Experience with sustainability analyses
Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has broad experience with all kinds of analyses of the sustainability of biomass. Food & Biobased Research carries out comprehensive sustainability analyses and can take into account various chain configurations (e.g. with respect to the greenhouse gas balance). In addition, we formulate guidelines for harvesting and for impacts on biodiversity and the environment. We can also carry out a broader analysis, such as an LCA. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research developed the ILUC free biomass concept based on the use of agricultural waste streams (straw, reeds and cultivated biomass (switchgrass).
The sustainability of biomass can be determined on the basis of criteria, that are registered in official standards. This includes mandatory standards, such as the EU Renewable Energy Directive, as well as voluntary market-driven standards, such as the Dutch NTA 8080.
Policy support studies
In addition to specific sustainability analyses, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research also has experience with making policy support studies. An example of those studies, are two researches focussed on the most sustainable option for the use of different types of biomass. Chemicals, biofuels and materials were compared in these studies. A sustainability analysis was made for the use of biomass for chemicals, biofuels and materials. Chemicals and materials were found to be the most sustainable option.