EarthShift Global has studied the environmental, social and economic impacts of a wide range of biofuels including biodiesel from rape seed, used cooking oil, algae, etc.; ethanol from corn, sweet potatoes, sugar beets, etc.; methane from digester wastes of various types; ethyl levulinate from cellulosic wastes; as well as the use of wood, both purpose cut and scraps, in a number of different fuel applications.
By leveraging the use of GREET and SimaPro for Life Cycle Assessment, and 3Pillars Software for Sustainability-ROI, and through the newly developing dynamic and anticipatory LCA fields, EarthShift Global has a wide range of tools and knowledge to address the many questions surrounding biofuels sustainability, including:
- Does the biofuel meet the GHG standards set by the US DOE for biofuels today?
- Could the biofuel meet the GHG standards set by the US DOE in the future?
- What are the other lifecycle environmental impacts of the biofuels production process and how might they be reduced?
- What economic benefit does the production of biofuels bring to different stakeholders?
- What risks are associated with the production of the biofuels? Could displacement of currently grown crops cause environmental or social problems locally or in other parts of the world?
- Is there an issue with growing crops for fuel instead of food?
S-ROI – Papers Presented at the Eco-Balance Conference in Japan
Sustainability Return on Investment (S-ROI) originally developed as an industry MDCA tool, provides more transparency in how weights are defined and how they are applied. It allows for scenario development and associated probabilities. This methodology shows promise in its ability to assess the sustainability of policy from the perspective of the environment and groups affected by the decision.
The Environmental and Social impacts of Biofuels Production: Total Cost Assessment of Biomass Utilization Trials in Japan (PDF)
Pilot biofuels projects in Japan have allowed a better understanding of the actual land use, processing requirements, and economic impacts of biofuels. Through the use of Total Cost Assessment (TCA), this study looks at the costs and benefits of Japanese investments in biofuels production in order to determine whether the projects are sustainable. This study applies the methodology to two projects: one project focuses on fuel from waste bioproducts, such as animal manure, sludge, and food processing residues; the other focuses on fuel production from crops grown specifically for this purpose.