Sustainability criteria and indicators of bioenergy systems from steering, research and Finnish bioenergy business operators’ perspectives

Elsevier, Ecological Indicators, Volume 66, July 2016, Pages 357–368
Authors: 
Heli Rimppi, Ville Uusitalo, Sanni Väisänen, Risto Soukka

This paper addresses the interface of steering, research, and business operators’ perspectives to bioenergy sustainability. Although bioenergy business operators are essential for sustainable development of bioenergy systems through implementation of sustainability criteria, their perspective to sustainability is rarely studied. We systematically studied the relevant sustainability criteria and indicators from the three perspectives in different stages of a general bioenergy life cycle and in different sustainability dimensions, and evaluated bioenergy operators’ sustainability principles, criteria and indicators simultaneously with respect to the steering and research data and a business sustainability maturity framework. We collected data from literature and a workshop for Finnish bioenergy experts. The results show a similar division of steering and operators’ sustainability criteria and indicators to life cycle stages and sustainability dimensions with a slight emphasis on business economic sustainability from operators’ perspective. The acceptability principle could provide bioenergy operators a meaningful way of identifying the role of sustainability criteria and indicators from steering and research sources in advancing their business sustainability maturity.