The objectives of this research were to characterise the maturity levels of bioenergy corporate responsibility for sustainability and outline an approach by which companies can operate at the most mature sustainability excellence level.
Authors: Heli Kasurinen , Ville Uusitalo, Sanni Väisänen, Risto Soukka, Jouni Havukainen
Journal Title: Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Publisher: SDEWES Centre
Bioenergy business operators can significantly contribute to the sustainability of bioenergy systems. While research has addressed the maturity of corporate responsibility for sustainability, the maturity levels of bioenergy business have not been determined. The objectives of this research were to characterise the maturity levels of bioenergy corporate responsibility for sustainability and outline an approach by which companies can operate at the most mature sustainability excellence level. Literature, three workshops attended by bioenergy experts and a case study on biobutanol production in Brazil were used to develop the maturity model and approach.
The results characterise the profitability, acceptability, and sustainability orientation maturity levels through sustainability questions and methods, and list the components of a systemic, holistic approach. Although the shift of business mindset from sustainability-as-usual to sustainability excellence is challenging, a systemic approach is necessary to broadly identify sustainability questions and a multitude of methods by which they can be answered.
Illustration Photo: Once at the mill, cane stalks are crushed to extract sucrose, which is then refined to make table sugar, fuel ethanol or other products. In Brazil, the leftover biomass (known as bagasse) is burned in high-efficiency boilers to make the mill completely self-sufficient while generating surplus electricity that supplies about 5% of the country’s growing energy needs. (Credit: Sweeter Alternative / Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0)