The challenge of measuring biofuel sustainability : A stakeholder-driven approach applied to the French case Article - 2017

Gino Baudry, Florian Delrue, Jack Legrand, Jeremy Pruvost, Thomas Vallée

Gino Baudry, Florian Delrue, Jack Legrand, Jeremy Pruvost, Thomas Vallée, « The challenge of measuring biofuel sustainability : A stakeholder-driven approach applied to the French case  », Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2017, pp. 933-947. ISSN 1364-0321

Abstract

Measuring biofuel sustainability requires dealing with a wide variety of complex and conflicting values at stake. Consequently, the biofuel capacity to contribute to one specific value cannot lead to any absolute conclusion about the overall sustainability of biofuel. The scope of the sustainability concept may vary depending on individuals’ preferences, the time scale and the geographical region. Based on the 5 pillars sustainability concept that includes social, economic, environmental, legal and cultural considerations, the present study proposes to assess several biofuel sustainability options for France by 2030 through a stakeholder-driven approach. Rather than seeking to reach a consensus, our approach allows us to capture the wide diversity of stakeholders’ perspectives and preferences. French stakeholders perceive 22 different sustainability criteria for biofuels with a very low level of agreement between the different segments of professions (feedstock producers, biofuel producers, refining industry, fuel distributors, car manufacturers, end-users, government and NGOs). In order to operationalize the sustainability assessment, a set of indicators has been identified with stakeholders that allows us to measure the capacity of biofuels to fulfill each of their criteria. Seventeen biofuel options were assessed with regards to economic, social, environmental, cultural and legal considerations, allowing the identification of the strengths and weaknesses of each biofuel.

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