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Assessing the availability of terrestrial biotic materials in product systems (BIRD)

Bach, Vanessa; Berger, Markus; Finogenova, Natalia; Finkbeiner, Matthias

Availability of abiotic resources has been a topic of concern in recent years, resulting in several approaches being published to determine their availability on country and product level. However, the availability of biotic materials has not been analyzed to this extent yet. Therefore, an approach to determine possible limitations to availability of terrestrial biotic materials over the entire supply chain is introduced. The approach considers 24 categories overall as well as associated category indicators for the five dimensions: physical, socio-economic, abiotic, social and environmental constraints. This ensures a comprehensive availability assessment of bio-based product systems. The approach is applied to a case study comparing biodiesel produced from rapeseed and soy beans. The study shows that the determination of indicator values is feasible for most categories and their interpretation leads to meaningful conclusions. Thus, the approach leads to a more comprehensive assessment of availability aspects and supports better informed decision making in industry and policy.
Published in: Sustainability, 10.3390/su9010137, MDPI