EU Science Hub

Getting (some) numbers right – derived economic indicators for the bioeconomy

Abstract: 
This side-event brought together policy officers from national and EU administrations, researchers, and sector experts to scrutinise the socioeconomic indicators we use on a daily basis. In general, there is enough common ground to find compatible systems to monitor key socioeconomic indicators (such as turnover, value added and jobs). Nevertheless, there remain differences concerning the scope of the bioeconomy sectors, in particular related to the bioeconomy services such as tourism, retail or restaurants. Also individual sector definitions or groupings following Eurostat classifications should be revised. For instance tobacco should be separated from the manufacturing of food and beverages. The timeliness of indicators provided is very different from one country to the other, ranging from 2014 to 2017. This is also due to the various ways (from experts or production statistics) of deriving bio-based shares for the hybrid sectors. A specific challenge is the scarcity of data availability in the bio-based chemical sector. Data on the EU bio-based market is diverse with large differences between product categories. As the data in some countries is collected from questionnaires conducted only every four years, it is causing important time lags. Given the high uncertainty of numbers, it is appropriate to provide a range with minimum and maximum estimates. The industry could be incentivised to share data through sustainability reporting of industry products, as such demonstrating the consumer the "green" origin of its products.
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