Development of the Circular Bioeconomy: Drivers and Indicators

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The EU’s 2018 Bioeconomy Strategy Update and the European Green Deal recently confirmed that the bioeconomy is high on the political agenda in Europe. The authors propose a conceptual analysis framework for quantifying and analyzing the development of the EU bioeconomy. The bioeconomy has several related concepts (e.g., bio-based economy, green economy, and circular economy) and there are clear synergies between these concepts, especially between the bioeconomy and circular economy concepts. Analyzing the driving factors provides important information for monitoring activities. They first derive the scope of the bioeconomy framework in terms of bioeconomy sectors and products to be involved, the needed geographical coverage and resolution, and time period. Furthermore, they outline a set of indicators linked to the objectives of the EU’s bioeconomy strategy. In our framework, measuring developments will, in particular, focus on the bio-based sectors within the bioeconomy as biomass and food production is already monitored. The selected indicators commit to the EU Bioeconomy Strategy objectives and conform with findings from previous studies and stakeholder consultation. Additionally, several new indicators have been suggested and they are related to measuring the impact of changes in supply, demand drivers, resource availability, and policies on sustainability goals.

The authors include Marko Lovrić and Hans Verkerk from EFI.

Full reference: Kardung, M.; Cingiz, K.; Costenoble, O.; Delahaye, R.; Heijman, W.; Lovrić, M.; van Leeuwen, M.; M’Barek, R.; van Meijl, H.; Piotrowski, S.; Ronzon, T.; Sauer, J.; Verhoog, D.; Verkerk, P.J.; Vrachioli, M.; Wesseler, J.H.H.; Zhu, B.X. Development of the Circular Bioeconomy: Drivers and Indicators. Sustainability 2021, 13, 413.