eu bio based, green recovery
©Tim Gorman

According to a new report, strong European bio-based industries will allow the EU to accelerate the green economic recovery and the transition towards climate neutrality

The paper, published by Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), highlights the immediate and the mid to long-term impacts of the bio-based industries towards a green recovery within the EU.

BIC represents the private sector in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the European Commission. It aims to contribute to society’s long-term sustainability through developing business models along the bio-based value chains with a focus on biorefinery plants and the technology need that aligns to it.

What is the bio-based industry?

The bio-based industry covers a unique mix of sectors including agriculture, agro-food, technology providers, forest-based sector, chemicals and energy. It aims to use renewable natural resources and innovative technologies to produce greener everyday products.

A strong European bio-based industrial sector will significantly reduce Europe’s dependency on fossil fuels which will help the EU meet climate change targets and lead to greener and more environmentally friendly growth.

The bio-based industry positively contributes to environmental, economic and social challenges. It achieves this through using domestic, renewable feedstock from agriculture, forestry and fisheries as well as residues, bio-waste and recycled carbon emissions, and process it in biorefineries to provide bio-based solutions for customers and consumers.

The paper highlighted 3 messages which explain how bio-based products can help the EU’s green recovery:

  1. Accelerating the economic recovery

The bio-based industry employs roughly 3.6 million people and has a turnover of €700 billion, The industry is helping to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by keeping essential services running and maintaining green jobs.

BIC members reacted quickly to assist governments and health authorities to combat the COVID-19 crisis. This included the provision of much-needed supplies such as food and feed ingredients, (compostable) packaging, hand sanitisers, masks, tissues and energy from renewable feedstock.

  1. Bio-based industries are key for realising the Green Deal

The advantage of the bioeconomy lies in the fact that through integrated and innovative circular operations food, feed, bio-based products and materials, services and energy can be produced. The bio-based industry helps to reduce Europe’s dependency on fossil fuels, sustain healthy ecosystems and achieve climate neutrality goals within the European Green Deal.

  1. Transforming the way sectors and society work

Creating bio-based value chains requires new connections and innovations across multiple and diverse sectors. It also requires involving brand owners’ and citizens’ insights to achieve market up-take and acceptance. That is the uniqueness and the challenge of the EU bio-based sector.

The bio-based industry integrates ‘traditional’ industrial sectors including the primary sector into innovative value chains and assisting the EU bioeconomy to be a global leader.

The paper can be found here.

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