• Roy, P., Sandler, I., Medouar, S. (2023). Bioeconomy Landscape: Insights for Standardization. Canadian Standards Association, Toronto, ON.

Executive Summary

The bioeconomy has gained worldwide attention as a method to combat climate change and create employment opportunities. It is seen as an economical and environmentally sustainable way to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An abundance of natural resources provides Canada with the unprecedented opportunity to produce biofuels and other bio-based products, positioning Canada as a global leader in the development of the bioeconomy.

This report presents an overview of bioeconomy processes and discusses the need to develop an integrated approach to bioeconomy advancements and regulatory and standardization activities that involves all stakeholders. It also identifies bioeconomy trends and recommends standardization areas that could enhance the bioeconomy in Canada. These trends and recommendations are based on a literature review and environmental scan of regulations and policies within the agriculture, forestry, and municipal sewage waste industries, as well as on surveys and interviews conducted with key bioeconomy stakeholders.

The bioeconomy is evolving rapidly and many innovative products have already been developed and are emerging in different sub-sectors. Given this accelerated growth, standards must be updated or developed to support the quality, safety, performance, and market competitiveness of bio-based products, as well as the profitability of bioindustries, while ensuring adequate feedstock supply. This report discusses the need for system level standardization, assessment of microplastics contamination of biosolids, combined heat and power systems (particularly in remote regions), and the need for bio-based content labelling and certification. It also presents potential pathways toward sustainable bioeconomy and sustainability criteria, along with driving forces and relationships within the bioeconomy.