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Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1698;

Assessing the Contribution of Bioeconomy to the Total Economy: A Review of National Frameworks

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, 212 Sackett Building, University Park, PA16802, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
PDF [377 KB, uploaded 23 May 2018]


Developments in technology have enabled envisioning the derivation of materials and products from renewable biomass as an alternative to finite fossil-based resource consumption. Therefore, bioeconomy is regarded as an opportunity for sustainable economic growth. Countries are formulating strategies in accordance with their goals to attain a bioeconomy. Proper measurement, monitoring, and reporting of the outcomes of these strategies are crucial for long-term success. This study aims to critically evaluate the national methods used for the measurement, monitoring, and reporting of bioeconomy contribution to the total economy. For this purpose, research and surveys have been conducted on selected countries (Argentina, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United States). The results reveal that the bioeconomy targets set up in the strategies often reflect the country’s priorities and comparative advantages. However, comprehensive approaches to measure and monitor bioeconomy progress are frequently lacking. Most countries only measure the contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), turnover, and employment of the sectors included in their bioeconomy definition, which may provide an incomplete picture. In addition, this study identifies the mismatch between the targets and measurement methods, as the environmental and social impacts of bioeconomy are often foreseen, but not measured. It is concluded that existing global efforts towards sustainable bioeconomy monitoring can be strengthened and leveraged to measure progress towards sustainable goals. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioeconomy; bio-based products; GDP; policy measures; sustainability assessment; sustainable development bioeconomy; bio-based products; GDP; policy measures; sustainability assessment; sustainable development

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Bracco, S.; Calicioglu, O.; Gomez San Juan, M.; Flammini, A. Assessing the Contribution of Bioeconomy to the Total Economy: A Review of National Frameworks. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1698.

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