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Industrial biotechnology – Europe’s key asset in meeting sustainable development goals

Posted on 04/06/2018

A newly published report highlights the fundamental role of Industrial Biotech in delivering solutions for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, has published a report highlighting the fundamental role of Industrial Biotechnology in delivering solutions for a large majority of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both in the EU and globally.

Industrial biotechnology uses enzymes and micro-organisms to make biobased products in sectors such as chemicals, food and feed, detergents, paper and pulp, textiles and bioenergy (such as biofuels or biogas). In doing so, it uses renewable raw materials and is one of the most promising, innovative approaches towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The new publication sets out the multiple roles of Industrial Biotechnology in enabling smarter, more efficient use of precious natural resources, developing renewable alternatives to traditional fossil-carbon products, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, reducing energy consumption and man-made emissions to soil, air and water.

Joanna Dupont-Inglis, EuropaBio Deputy Secretary General, said:

“The European Commission has long recognised Industrial Biotechnology as a Key Enabling Technology for Europe’s industrial policy, but it is equally critical to developing a more competitive and sustainable bioeconomy, delivering solutions for a growing population, in the context of the planet’s finite resources. The EU’s ‘Horizon Europe’ proposal will be key to ensuring that the right investments are made in transformative innovation through Industrial Biotechnology to provide new products and processes addressing societal challenges and delivering on the UN SDGs.

“Our report provides clear policy recommendations and shows how Industrial Biotechnology contributes towards achieving eleven out of the seventeen SDGs. This highlights a clear opportunity for the EU to integrate the development of a circular bioeconomy into its SDGs approach, including through a second mandate for the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking. The EU is well placed to deliver solutions and to show global leadership in this innovative, clean-tech sector.”

The report is available online here.

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