With their broad range of applications – from construction to tyres, from cosmetics to toys – bio-based products (products made from biological resources) continue to receive a lot of political attention. Bio-based products can help improve the environmental profile of products since they can replace synthetic materials such as chemicals or plastics. However, their use needs to be balanced so as not to strip nature of biodiversity, and to not drive the clearing of land or the change from food crops to grow crops for industrial use.
As part of the STAR-ProBio project, ECOS aims to encourage the production and use of sustainable bio-based products by identifying key criteria characterising these products and enabling comparison with their fossil based counterparts. The project was kicked off in May 2017 and runs until April 2020. In mid-October ECOS attended the project’s first general assembly meeting which offered a very good opportunity to build a common understanding of the issues at stake and objectives of the project between the 15 partners.
The goal of the project is to develop a comprehensive sustainability scheme applying to bio-based products, including standards, labels and certifications. The resulting toolbox will build on existing standards including existing life cycle assessment standards such as ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 and existing sustainability certification systems.
During the first six months of the project, ECOS and the other project partners have carried out comparative analyses of existing sustainability standards and certification schemes applying to bio-based products. The objective at this stage is to better understand what is already covered by standards and certification systems, how, and whether they can be the basis for sustainability or environmental claims.
For more information, please visit the STAR-Pro-Bio website.