Tackling Uncertainty in the Bio-Based Economy

Tackling Uncertainty in the Bio-Based Economy

Pasquale Marcello Falcone (Unitelma Sapienza - University of Rome, Rome, Italy & Department of Business and Economics, Parthenope University of Naples, Naples, Italy) and Enrica Imbert (Unitelma Sapienza - University of Rome, Rome, Italy)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJSR.2019010105
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Abstract

There is a clear overall consensus among international institutions and governments on the need to scale down the reliance of the global economy on fossil fuels. Yet, a sustainable transition from a long-established regime based on rooted production and consumption models, requires tackling a wide array of challenges. Indeed, the transition towards a bio-based economy is still characterized by a high degree of complexity and uncertainty. Managing complexity and accounting for uncertainty entails appropriate and multidisciplinary tools. In this regard, sustainability certifications, standards and labels can play a pivotal role in navigating this transition, creating the conditions to ensure a level playing field between bio-based and conventional products.
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2. Transitioning Towards A Circular Bio-Based Economy

A sustainable transition from a long-established regime based on rooted production and consumption models, requires tackling a wide array of challenges. As stated by Priefer et al. (2017), despite the bio-based economy being viewed as a “comprehensive societal transition,” a number of issues have not yet been fully addressed. In particular, besides rather well-known concerns surrounding the debate on the sustainability of the bioeconomy, including food security, land grabbing, direct and indirect land use changes (LUC and iLUC) and loss of biodiversity, additional issues highlighted by the literature must be taken into account. These include no level playing field with fossil based products, but also within the bio-based economy itself due to the incentives created by the EU’s Renewable Energy Directives (RED I and II) and several member countries energy policies, intended for the use of biomass for energy production rather than for material purposes (Carus et al., 2016; Meyer, 2017). Moreover, there are only few product categories, such as bio-based lubricants, to have already benefited from regulatory measures at EU or Member State level (Spekreijse, Lammens, Parisi, Ronzon, & Vis, 2019).

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