Supergen Bioenergy Hub Bioeconomy Sustainability Indicator Model (BSIM)

Welfle, A.; Röder, M.

Our new Bioeconomy Sustainability Indicator Model (BSIM) is a flexible tool to map the sustainability of bioeconomy projects. The BSIM can be used to analyse specific elements within bioeconomy projects from specific biomass resources, supply chains, technologies or whole bioeconomy project value chains.

The BSIM can be downloaded here.

The launch of the model is also accompanied by a new paper ‘Mapping the sustainability of bioenergy to maximise benefits, mitigate risks and drive progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals‘ published in Renewable Energy, March 2022.

About the BSIM

The Bioeconomy Sustainability Indicator Model (BSIM) was developed around the concept that there will be both sustainability risks and benefits attributed to each life cycle step within any bioeconomy project and each value chain, and sustainability can be mapped to identify and analyse these risks and benefits.

A comprehensive list of sustainability issues was identified covering each potential life cycle stage for any given project or value chains. Within the BSIM these issues are structured within a sustainability assessment framework following a hierarchy of: broad sustainability categories (eg climate change), sustainability themes (eg emissions), sustainability indicators (eg land use change) and individual sustainability issues (eg direct land use change).

The BSIM is calibrated through selecting the sustainability issues relevant to a project and identifying the potential occurrence of a sustainability risk or benefit by scoring the level of impact from very low to very high. Additionally, each sustainability issue has a weighting value to account for the greater or lesser potential influence within the whole system compared to all other issues considered.

The BSIM generates outputs mapping the key sustainability risks and benefits and calculating an overall sustainability score for the project based on the combined individual indicator scores and weightings. Sustainability scores for a given project provide an index value to allow comparison between projects. The BSIM is also designed to map the potential influence of bioeconomy projects on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), identifying where a project may generate risk or benefits for achieving each of the 17 SDGs.

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