How to unlock the bioeconomy’s potential beyond 2024


Europe is charting a course towards a sustainable future with ambitious targets. To be successful, the bioeconomy must be at the heart of the EU’s climate and industry transition strategies. Recognising this, Cefic’s new paper, ‘Delivering the bioeconomy agenda for 2024 and beyond’, sets out specific actions to harness the potential of bio-based and bioderived chemistry in Europe, aiming to optimise its positive influence on the environment, economy, and society. It reinforces the priorities set in Cefic’s Manifesto for the chemical industry: ‘Teaming up for a Climate-Neutral and Competitive Europe’. 

The bioeconomy’s role is expanding within Europe’s chemical industry, supplying materials and products. Its importance will only continue to grow as the EU’s circularity targets highlight the significance of bio-based products in reducing fossil fuel dependence and advancing sustainability goals.  

That’s why it is crucial for the upcoming EU Commission and European Parliament to align their strategies and policies with the principles and actions outlined by Cefic’s paper: 

Fair Access to Biomass 

  • Implement the “cascading use” principle. 
  • Ensure fair access to bio-feedstocks. 
  • Set consistent sustainability criteria. 
  • Reduce waste through improved collection. 
  • Balance production with environmental concerns 

Bring Investments to Europe

  • Provide legal certainty for biorefineries. 
  • Promote key enabling technologies. 
  • Involve public investors to mitigate risks. 
  • Allocate budgets for research and innovation. 

Stimulate Market Demand  

  • Ensure fair global trading conditions. 
  • Set targets for bio-based content in EU products. 
  • Offer incentives for bio-based products. 
  • Develop fair comparison methods with non-renewable alternatives. 
  • Encourage bio-based product use in public procurement, like the US Biopreferred program

Collaborative efforts between the industry and policymakers are instrumental to create an enabling environment for this transformative journey.