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Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16237-16259; doi:10.3390/su71215813

Region-Specific Indicators for Assessing the Sustainability of Biomass Utilisation in East Asia

Research Institute of Science for Safety and Sustainability, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba 305-8569, Japan
Energy & Environment Flagship, SIRIM Berhad, Shah Alam 40700, Malaysia
College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna 4031, Philippines
The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment, Centre of Excellence on Energy Technology and Environment, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Lampung, Bandar Lampung 35145, Indonesia
Asian Development Bank, Madaluyong 1550, Philippines
Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai 400065, India
Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore, 119620 Singapore
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 5 October 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [598 KB, uploaded 7 December 2015]   |  


This paper presents the findings of an expert working group of researchers from East Asian countries. The group was tasked with developing a theoretically sound and practically implementable methodology for assessing the sustainability of biomass utilisation in East Asian countries based on the needs and potential of biomass resources in this region. Building on six years of research conducted between 2007 and 2013, the working group formulated a set of main and secondary indicators for biomass utilisation under three pillars of sustainability. For the environmental pillar, the main indicator was life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and secondary indicators were water consumption and soil quality. For the economic pillar, the main indicator was total value added and secondary indicators were net profit, productivity, and net energy balance. For the social pillar, the main indicators were employment generation and access to modern energy, and the secondary indicator was the human development index. The application of the working group methodology and indicators in sustainability assessments of biomass utilisation will enable decision makers in East Asian countries to compare the sustainability of biomass utilisation options and to make decisions on whether or not to launch or sustain biomass utilisation initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass utilisation; East Asian countries; sustainability assessment; triple bottom line; sustainability indicators biomass utilisation; East Asian countries; sustainability assessment; triple bottom line; sustainability indicators

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kudoh, Y.; Sagisaka, M.; Chen, S.S.; Elauria, J.C.; Gheewala, S.H.; Hasanudin, U.; Romero, J.; Sharma, V.K.; Shi, X. Region-Specific Indicators for Assessing the Sustainability of Biomass Utilisation in East Asia. Sustainability 2015, 7, 16237-16259.

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