Next Article in Journal
Aligning Strategy with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Process Scoping Diagram for Entrepreneurial Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
Next Article in Special Issue
Impact of Bio-Based Plastics on Current Recycling of Plastics
Previous Article in Journal
The Impact of the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup on Sustained Volunteering in the Rugby Community
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Bio-Based Economy: Dynamics Governing Transition Pathways in the Swedish Forestry Sector
Open AccessArticle

Social Life Cycle Approach as a Tool for Promoting the Market Uptake of Bio-Based Products from a Consumer Perspective

1
Bioeconomy in Transition Research Group, IdEA, Unitelma Sapienza—University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena, 291, 00161 Roma, Italy
2
Department of Law and Economics, Unitelma-Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena, 295, 00161 Roma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041031
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
The sustainability of bio-based products, especially when compared with fossil based products, must be assured. The life cycle approach has proven to be a promising way to analyze the social, economic and environmental impacts of bio-based products along the whole value chain. Until now, however, the social aspects have been under-investigated in comparison to environmental and economic aspects. In this context, the present paper aims to identify the main social impact categories and indicators that should be included in a social sustainability assessment of bio-based products, with a focus on the consumers’ category. To identify which social categories and indicators are most relevant, we carry out a literature review on existing social life cycle studies; this is followed by a focus group with industrial experts and academics. Afterwards, we conduct semi-structured interviews with some consumer representatives to understand which social indicators pertaining to consumers are perceived as relevant. Our findings highlight the necessity for the development and dissemination of improved frameworks capable of exploiting the consumers’ role in the ongoing process of market uptake of bio-based products. More specifically, this need regards the effective inclusion of some social indicators (i.e., end users’ health and safety, feedback mechanisms, transparency, and end-of-life responsibility) in the social life cycle assessment scheme for bio-based products. This would allow consumers, where properly communicated, to make more informed and aware purchasing choices, therefore having a flywheel effect on the market diffusion of a bio-based product. View Full-Text
Keywords: social life cycle assessment; bio-based products; social indicators; consumers; sustainability social life cycle assessment; bio-based products; social indicators; consumers; sustainability
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Falcone, P.M.; Imbert, E. Social Life Cycle Approach as a Tool for Promoting the Market Uptake of Bio-Based Products from a Consumer Perspective. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1031.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop