Case Studies of Assessment Metrics

Chapters 11-19 show applications of different sustainability metrics for different sectors. Since biomass is a predominant renewable resource and since its production requires substantial land area, effects on land use are discussed in the first chapter of this part of the book. Chapter 12 focuses on a rather traditional renewable resource-based sector: forestry. An assessment diagram of renewables and non-renewables-based doorframes is presented in Figure 12.1.

The assessment of renewable resources for energy production purposes is dealt with in Chapters 13-15. Chapter 13 focuses on the emissions that are generated when biomass is employed for energy purposes. The possible contribution of biofuels to greenhouse gas emission reduction is the topic of Chapter 14. By making use of the ORWARE model, effects on greenhouse gas emissions and both renewable and non-renewable energy intake are quantified for the organic waste treatment industry in Chapter 15.

Chapter 16-19 show renewables-based material production assessment, as they are performed in three companies and a research institute. Chapter 16 shows the assessment of surfactant manufacturing, a sector where both renewables and non-renewables are competitive as a resource. The overall assessment of emerging bioplastics and fossil resource-based plastics, considering their overall life cycle, is well illustrated in Chapter 17. Application of (micro)biologically based processes in the chemical industry instead of chemical processes in, for example, vitamin production is discussed in Chapter 18. It demonstrates the eco-efficiency approach: balancing environmental and economic benefits. Finally, different production routes for pharmaceuticals are compared in Chapter 19, paying attention to the triple bottom line of sustainability through presenting performance indicators for people, profit and planet.

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