Back 02.10.2013

Gaia Biorefiner screens the sustainability of new bio-based products

Gaia Consulting launched today the Gaia Biorefiner, a service that screens the environmental sustainability of bioeconomy innovations, business ideas and investment opportunities. The service was launched at the leading European bioeconomy event, the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Biobased Economy, EFIB 2013, at Brussels. The Gaia Biorefiner has been piloted with the Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster FIBIC. The service aims to become the globally most relevant method for assessing the sustainability of biomass-based value chains.

Bioeconomy is a rapidly evolving field. New concepts and solutions are developed and commercialized according to market demand and global drivers, one of which is sustainability. However, assessing the sustainability of biomass-based products and technologies is complicated, as it requires a far more analytical approach than generic sustainability assessment. At the same time, companies have a real need for practical tools that can be used to screen the sustainability of business ideas and investment opportunities specifically in the field of bioeconomy.

Gaia has therefore put its wide understanding of sustainability as well as bio-based raw materials, processes and end products into a new service. The Gaia Biorefiner enables the comprehensive sustainability benchmarking of innovations and solutions in areas like biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials. It helps companies and investors to identify the most eco-efficient and advanced solutions and innovations, to focus investments and to ensure that the benefits of bio-based technologies and products are fully realized.

The Gaia Biorefiner screens the environmental sustainability of products and technologies and their entire value chains based on ten indicator groups. The results of the analysis are presented in visual form with color codes indicating potential competitive advantages and sustainability risks. The Gaia Biorefiner also allows bio-based solutions to be compared with their alternatives.

“The Gaia Biorefiner is already gaining wide interest among leading companies as well as investors. We expect it to become a globally recognized solution for assessing the sustainability of bioeconomy innovations, products and technologies”, says Business Director Tiina Pursula from Gaia Consulting.

Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster as pilot partner

The new service has been piloted with the Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster FIBIC Oy. The pilot project consisted of screening the sustainability of an emerging value chain – producing succinic acid from sawdust and further refining it to polyurethane, which can be used in construction. The value chain was also compared with alternative, wheat straw-based and oil-based value chains.

“It is extremely important for FIBIC to understand the sustainability of different bio-based value chains. The Gaia Biorefiner makes sure that our research and development activities are focused on the most environmentally sustainable projects. It also enables us to build on the competitive advantage of our value chains and avoid potential sustainability risks. I highly recommend it to research and development portfolio holders as well as to investors and companies“, says CEO Christine Hagström-Näsi from FIBIC.

More information:

  • Gaia Biorefiner
  • Tiina Pursula, Business Director, Gaia Consulting Oy, tel. +358 40 514 9507, email:
  • Päivi Luoma, Leading Consultant, Gaia Consulting Oy, tel. +358 50 430 8866, email: