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Weigthing of sustainability by doing a Multi Criteria Analysis

Sustainability of biomass sidestream usage based on Multi-Criteria-Analysis

Published on 31-08-2018 12:14:19 by AGRIFORVALOR

CakePHP To achieve a sustainable bioeconomy different aspects of sustainability have to be taken into account.

To address diverse sustainability challenges when developing new business models on forest and agro sidestreams 3 dimensions covering economic, social and environmental issues, the so called triple bottom line or triple P (Profit, People and Planet) need to be taken into account. This method captures values and criteria for measuring organizational (and societal) success on economic, ecological and social levels. In order to better structure complex topics like the before mentioned and to get better and more rational results a Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) can be conducted.

In the MCA process AGRIFORVALOR engaged 103 multi-actors (86 from business, 17 from public sector). As result of the process the following findings can be summarized:

As common finding one can conclude that the majority of business related stakeholders prefer “planet” as dimension and herein “materials & energy” as the result of the weighted average sum over all criteria per dimension. The majority of public related stakeholders prefer “profit” as dimension and herein “local economy” and “investment”.

This shows that “sustainability” is not understood by all actors equally, it differs between stakeholder groups and geographical locations (hubs). The aim nevertheless is to find a common approach and understanding (e.g. synergies between the two above mentioned criteria) also in sense of putting the weightings in relation to quantitative measures of indicators and of directing and communicating local / regional policy decisions and activities.

Allthough these findings are not representative for the involved sectors the results show that sustainability criteria and their preference have to be defined by the local multi-actor community. Like this, the decision makers can get a bigger and better picture and notion on what sustainability means in its three dimensions and on what are the preference when it comes to decision making actions on sustainability aspects e.g. of sidestream biomass valorization for achieving a sustainable Bioeconomy.