Biotechnology policies

OECD Workshop on Best Practices in Assessing the Environmental and Economic Sustainability of Bio-based Products - Agenda and Presentations

 

OECD Workshop on Best Practices in Assessing the Environmental and Economic Sustainability of     Bio-based Products, held at the Delta Centre Ville, 777 University Street, Montréal, on 23-24 July 2009

 

AGENDA

DAY 1 – 23d July 2009


Keynote AddressMr. Harvey Mead (former Sustainable Development Commissioner, Province of Quebec)
Introduction: Ms. Benedicte Callan (OECD)
Chair: Ms. Benedicte Callan (OECD)
Facilitator: Mr. Don Grant (Stantec, Canada)

 

SESSION I - CURRENT APPROACHES TO PLANNING FOR AND ASSESSING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF BIO-BASED PRODUCTS


Speakers:

Mr. Michele Galatola (EC): “Environmental Sustainability Assessment of Bio-based products: current activities and future options”
Ms. Barbara Lippiat (US): “Sustainability Assessment of Bio-based Products in the U.S.”
Mr. Olivier Jolliet (University of Michigan, USA): "Life Cycle Assessment of Biodiesel compared to other biomass uses"
Mr. Joel Velasco (UNICA): “Towards Sustainable Bio-fuels in Brazil - UNICA’s Efforts”

Objectives of the session:  This session reviewed the sustainable development context and some of the existing approaches for planning for and assessing the sustainability of bio-based products in different context.

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
Questions addressed:

  • Is there a need for an internationally agreed instrument that identifies best practices in the assessment of the sustainability of bio-based products?
  • What are the most important or influential assessment methodologies? 
  • What are their objectives, and what sustainability pillars are covered? 
  • How comprehensive are the different approaches identified (e.g. cradle-to-cradle; cradle-to-grave)?
  • What are the current limitations, gaps or uncertainties that remain in these approaches?


SESSION II - KEY ISSUES AND PARAMETERS IN ASSESSING THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY OF BIO-BASED PRODUCTS


Speakers

Mr. Robert Anex, (US, Iowa State University): “Searching for Sustainability: The Best as the Enemy of the Good” 
Mr. Terry McIntyre (Environment Canada): “In Search of the “Holy Grail”- Baseline Environmental Data to Help Support Biofuels and Canada’s Sustainable Development Agenda”
Mr. Guido Reinhardt (IFEU, Germany): “Towards criteria for the sustainable use of bio-based materials: lessons learnt from biofuels”


Objectives of the session: The session identified what key issues and parameters/indicators currently can be assessed and what test methods can be used to confirm whether parameters have been met; and to agree what combination of parameters constitute a comprehensive assessment.


ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
Questions addressed:

  • What parameters/indicators are used for assessing environmental and economic sustainability of bio-based products? How practical are the parameters/indicators in terms of their use for industrial and public policy development?
  • What should constitute the minimum set of parameters used in assessing environmental and economic sustainability of bio-based products?
  • Can one set of parameters be applied to different groups of bio-based products?
  • What might be the means to select and evaluate parameters in a systematic way?
  • Is it possible to build a flexible system of parameters and tools that would serve various national/regional needs?
  • Are there data available to accurately evaluate the parameters? If not, how it could be gathered?

SESSION III – DISCUSSION OF BEST PRACTICES IN ASSESSING SUSTAINABILITY OF BIO-BASED PRODUCTS


Introduction: Mr. Alexandre Bartsev (OECD) on “OECD Best Practices”

Objectives of the session: Based on the experience of the experts and the previous presentations, to propose what should be included in best practices for planning for and assessing the sustainability of bio-based products; to define the scope for such best practices; to discuss the need for an international standard in this area given the different initiatives that are underway

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
Questions addressed:

  • What sorts of assessment best practices would be most helpful for policymakers and for what sorts of decisions? 
  • What should be the scope of Best Practices for assessing sustainability of bio-based products (e.g. parameters/indicators; pillars of sustainability; groups of products concerned; groups of targeted stakeholders?) 
  • Are there core methodologies that should be used in sustainability assessments (e.g. bio-content, LCA, LCC, etc.) 
  • What are the points of commonality (e.g. similar set of parameters/indicators, assumptions) between the different methodologies?
  • Could the current bio-fuel-related national/international sustainability assessment methodologies be expanded for assessing other bio-based products?


DAY 2 – 24th July 2009

Summary of Day 1 – Saeed Khan (Industry Canada)


SESSION III (continued) – DISCUSSION OF BEST PRACTICES IN ASSESSING SUSTAINABILITY OF BIO-BASED PRODUCTS


SESSION IV – NEXT STEPS - TOWARDS IMPLEMENTATION


Speaker:

Mr. Kevin Boehmer (Canadian Standardisation Organisation): “Use of Voluntary Standards for Sustainable Bio-based Products”


Objectives of the session:  To discuss the possible next steps such as alignment with other initiatives, movement towards the development of standards


ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
Questions addressed:

  • Who should OECD include as stakeholders in developing best practices?
  • What other initiatives should we be aware of /coordinate with? 
  • How can one balance the sustainability goals of different stakeholders (e.g. policy community and a wide range of industries concerned) while developing best practices?

How can best practices be practically used (implemented)?

RAPPORTEUR’S REPORT AND CLOSING REMARKS BY OECD

 

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