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Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2455; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072455

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

1
Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ), Leipzig 04347, Germany
2
Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin), Berlin 10623, Germany
3
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig 04318, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 April 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
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Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-based economy; sustainability; certification; standardisation; sustainability criteria; gaps; sustainability assessment bio-based economy; sustainability; certification; standardisation; sustainability criteria; gaps; sustainability assessment
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Majer, S.; Wurster, S.; Moosmann, D.; Ladu, L.; Sumfleth, B.; Thrän, D. Gaps and Research Demand for Sustainability Certification and Standardisation in a Sustainable Bio-Based Economy in the EU. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2455.

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