MO.1.C || Achieving Sustainability Goals on the Regional, National and International Level

Messmann, Lukas; Wietschel, Lars; Thorenz, Andrea; Tuma, Axel

Unlike product-specific or site-specific assessments, corporate or political sustainable decision-making on a strategic and multi-regional level, by nature, relies heavily on aggregated and often generic data. In contrast to the environmental dimension, the complexity of social indicators, their subjective and often qualitative nature, and a lack of data render the inclusion of social indicators into quantitative optimization models for strategic supply chain decision-making difficult. First, this work presents a structured process for including a comprehensive set of social aspects by selecting applicable quantitative and regionalized social indicators. We compile a set of 35 social categories (10 objective functions and 25 categories for hotspot identification) with respective quantifiable social indicators. Second, this process is applied to the case of lignocellulosic, second-generation bioethanol (2G EtOH) production in the EU, which is a promising substitute for fossil and food crop-based fuels. The regional peculiarities in the economic, environmental and social performance of bio-based value chains urgently requires methods that take regionality into account. Therefore, we evaluate impacts and benefits of large-scale 2G EtOH production on regional level by integrating economic, 21 environmental LCA-based, and the 35 social categories into a model for mixed-integer linear programming. We identify optimal strategic decisions (biorefinery locations and capacities in the EU, feedstock collection, EtOH transportation, substitution) for each of the economic, environmental, and social objectives. This allows for uncovering hidden relationships between these objectives in this application case, and identifying Pareto-optimal solutions between multiple objectives. The approach in the study at hand is novel in its depth both in the fields strategic supply chain design and the European bioeconomy, and enables holistic sustainability optimization.