Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Evaluating Sustainability in the Process Sectors

Every year Europe invests millions of Euros to develop new technologies and modify processes and products to bring resource and energy efficiency improvements. However, in order for EU stakeholders and industry to see the true value of these new technologies and modifications, and make informed decisions surrounding their adoption, a consistent approach is needed to assess the sustainability impact across the full value chain. This is particularly challenging when it comes to assessing sustainability across sector boundaries, or in a data lean environment.

The European process industries recognise that assessment of sustainability is an essential component of their business management. As such, many sustainability indicators, tools and methodologies already exist. However, these vary widely in their sophistication, applicability, maturity and usability thereby limiting broad cross-sectoral implementation.

Consequently, three projects have recently been funded through the Horizon 2020 SPIRE Public-Private-Partnership to coordinate studies of current approaches. The projects resulted from the SPIRE-4 call 'Methodologies, tools and indicators for cross-sectorial sustainability assessment of energy and resource efficient solutions in the process industry'. The three projects are:
  • STYLE - Sustainability Toolkit for easy Life-cycle Evaluation
  • SAMT - Sustainability Assessment methods and tools to support decision-making in the process industries
  • MEASURE - Metrics for Sustainability Assessment in European Process Industries
Collectively they have the aim of delivering:
  • Recommendations for the current use of sustainability indicators, tools and methodologies for the SPIRE sectors. These can be used for future SPIRE and other H2020 funded projects to determine the overall sustainability benefits and impacts of the projects.
  • Identification of gaps in the available tools
  • Recommendations for future research needs and standardisation
  • A harmonised roadmap summarising the recommendations across the three projects (available at the end of December 2016)
The three projects
In order to look at certain aspects of sustainability evaluation in more detail, the three projects have specific focus areas:

MEASURE focus: in-depth cross-sectorial life cycle based evaluation approaches supporting sustainable supply chain management.

MEASURE partners: Friedrich-Schiller University Jena (coordinator: Dana Kralisch), Evonik Industries, Procter & Gamble Services Company N.V., ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, the Technische Universität Berlin as well as the Universities of Cambridge, Manchester and Ghent.

Project Website:

SAMT focus: industrial best-practice and opportunities for cross-sector assessment of energy and resource efficiency.

SAMT partners: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (coordinator: Tiina Pajula), Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment & Energy, CEMEX Research Group AG, Suez Environment, Neste Oil Corporation, Bayer Technology Services GmbH, BASF SE and Asociación Española de Normalización y Certficación.

Project Website:

STYLE focus: pragmatic sustainability tools that can be used by non-specialists.

STYLE partners: Britest (coordinator: Amy Peace), Arcelor Mittal, Britest, Carmeuse, Holcim, IVL, RDC Environment, Solvay, Tata Steel, Utrecht University and Veolia.

Project Website: 

Broad engagement, questionnaire
The projects will build on previous SusChem-inspired projects such as PROSUITE and will be engaging with the broad process sector community through stakeholder workshops, the development of industrial case studies, in-depth interviews, questionnaires, consultations and webinars. The projects are keen to get involvement from a wide range of stakeholders, including:
  • Process sector industries (cement, ceramics, chemicals, engineering, non-ferrous metals, minerals, steel and water representing big and small companies)
  • Sector representatives and trade associations
  • Research organisations and academia
  • Representatives from other Horizon 2020 projects that include sustainability evaluation
  • Public sector bodies
  • Finance and investment organisations 
  • Non-Governmental Organisations 
  • Standardisation bodies
  • End users/ customers of the sectors
If you are interested in being a stakeholder in the projects, or just to be kept informed of progress, please complete this short questionnaire by 6 March 2015. The responses to the questionnaire will inform a joint project workshop to be held at the end of March.

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