Transport is responsible for about a quarter of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. In the last years, while most sectors have reduced CO2 emissions, transport’s share has steadily increased. In 2011, the European Commission in its report "Impact Assessment-Accompanying document to the White Paper Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area" put forward that the potential greenhouse gas emissions reduction from the use of biofuels depends on the feedstock and their production methods.
In this sense, it is essential to evaluate the sustainability of biofuels throughout their whole life cycle (raw materials obtaining, manufacturing, transport or distribution and use) in order to establish which ones are the most sustainable ones. Before promoting the use of any biofuel or alternative energy system, the impacts related to this biofuel should be deeply known.
BIOLCA will enable users to evaluate the sustainability of biofuels through individual or comparative studies and analyzes environmental, economic and social parameters.
The project will improve the tool developed in the framework of GAITEK Programme (a Basque Government’s funding instrument) incorporating new propulsion models, updating the impact assessment methodology, improving the user interface, etc. Once the technical and performance improvements are implemented, the BIOLCA tool will be validated and demonstrated by means of two pilot experiences, which will be carried out in two potential users with important road transport fleets: City Hall, with a fleet of 152 city buses (Bilbobus) and CESPA, a garbage collection company, with a fleet of 18 trucks. Therefore, BIOLCA tool will be tested with real data and situations, and results obtained from both pilot experiences will be an important step forward in the sustainable development strategies of both agents involved.
The main objective of this project is the demonstration of an internet-based tool to evaluate and improve the sustainability in the transport sector. This tool will be based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, and will enable the assessment of environmental, social and economic impacts throughout the whole life cycle.
BIOLCA will be a powerful tool for decision making that will contribute to the improvement of the sustainability in the Transport and Biofuels sectors, since it will be able to identify critical points in each stage of the life cycle, and therefore, it will enable stakeholders to act exactly on those key factors that are causing a negative impact on the sustainable development.
In addition, this tool will be very helpful for policy makers, and it can even be integrated into European policies for establishing the requirements that existing and new biofuels should meet.
Furthermore, the project will contribute to exchange best practices and to increase the awareness of the stakeholders involved in any stage of the life cycle.