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Methodologies, tools and indicators for cross-sectorial sustainability assessment of energy and resource efficient solutions in the process industry

Specific challenge:Innovative technologies for resource and energy efficiency require a consistent sustainability assessment across sectors and along the value chains. There is a need to increase the European knowledge base related to applied sustainability assessment tools, methodologies, indicators and to overcome the bottlenecks for cross-sectorial take-up and further development in the process industry.

Scope:The support action should involve a study across multiple sectors in the process industries considering all aspects of sustainability assessment along the whole product life cycles with regard to resource and energy efficiency. The outcome of the study should incorporate:

-          A comparative  overview of currently used methodologies, tools,  indicators and practices in different sectors,

-          A selection of the most appropriate solutions, based on their demonstrated robustness and their ability to provide simplified and easily communicated data,

-          An overview of the related opportunities as well as the bottlenecks towards further development and cross-sectorial replication/transfer of these approaches,

-          Definitions of the required steps to accelerate further uptake of resource efficiency indicators over the value chains, and

-          Recommendations on the most suitable tools for management and decision making at research lab, plant, company, sector and multi-sectorial level.

The study should allow for the customisation and development of sector-specific tools, for example regarding boundaries of the system, and including technical aspects for each industry. 

Strategies should be proposed to work with value chain partners, public authorities and final users, in particular to meet expectations in terms of relevant sustainability assessment (e.g. standards, labelling), and create a broad range of options to raise awareness levels and understanding of sustainability. The study should produce recommendations as input for further research and development projects in the field of sustainability assessment.

Collaboration with standardisation bodies should be addressed.

The methodology should also address the needs of companies operating in data -lean environments.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 250 000 and 500 000 would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

                Identification of best practices over different sectors for environmental, social and economic sustainability indicators to facilitate cross-sectorial deployment.

                Identification of the research needs in this area to achieve a set of environmental, social and economic sustainability indicators suitable for the process industry.

                Identification across the different sectors of the process industry of a set of tools for management and decision making at research lab, plant, company, sector and multi-sectorial level of the process industry.

Type of action: Coordination and Support Actions