15-19: The implications of Life Cycle Assessment in Biofuel Policy

Life cycle thinking is becoming an important aspect for business to consider, as it is included in many EU strategies and directives. However, through the Renewable Energy Directive, biofuel is the only industry sector in which life cycle assessment (LCA) is mandatory in order to justify the ‘sustainability’ of biofuels used for transportation purposes. This has had significant influence on the entire supply chain for biofuels in Sweden and the rest of Europe. 

The aim of this project is twofold: 1) to increase the understanding of how industry regulation influences practices and decision-making throughout the innovation system, with specific focus on biofuel producers, and 2) to facilitate the development of more coherent environmental performance indicators for biofuel production. 

The project will generate recommendations for the biofuel industry on how to deal with and adapt to regulation. Such recommendations are useful on a strategic level to develop plans for meeting environmental performance targets. In addition, the results generated during the project are applicable to other areas of business when expanding renewable energy portfolios. On a more general level, the project will increase knowledge on the implications of environmental policies that mandate the use of LCA; with importance not only for biofuel producers, but also for policy makers and governing organizations (e.g. Energimyndigheten).

The project will be conducted in collaboration with IVL-Swedish Environmental Research Institute (Michael Martin and Tomas Ekvall), SYKE-Finnish Environmental Research Institute (David Lazarevic) and SP-Technical Research Institute of Sweden (Frida Røyne and Johan Torén).