Sustainability considerations
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Sustainability OF bio-based products

Bio-based products are made from renewable feedstocks such as wood, straw, sugar, maize, cassava, algae or biowaste (‘biomass’ can be used as an umbrella term). Products made entirely or partially from biomass are an alternative to products that are entirely made from conventional and non-renewable resources (petroleum, coal, natural gas). They present the potential for a long-term shift away from fossil-based towards a bio-based economy.

However, in order to be sustainable, a non-fossil feedstock base is not enough. Other aspects, such as agricultural practices for the cultivation of the biomass, energy used in the production process, process agents such as chemicals, solvents, etc. have to be considered to ensure that a product is sustainable across its complete life cycle. On the other hand, bio-based products can offer improved functionalities with reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, less toxicity, less waste and better end-of-life options for final disposal.

More information on how you can assess and ascertain the sustainability of bio-based products can be found in factsheet #2 on sustainability of bio-based products.

Sustainability considerations