The term bio-based products refers to products made from renewable biological raw materials such as plants and trees. It excludes food, traditional paper and wood products and biomass as an energy source. The importance of bio-based products lies in the possibility to substitute fossil-based products and improve Europe's industrial competitiveness and sustainability, i.e. efficient use of natural resources, often low toxicity, high bio-degradability, less resource intensive production (water, energy, waste).
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Technical Bodies & Activities
In addition to general horizontal standards for bio-based products, CEN is developing standards in the areas of bio-lubricants, bio-polymers, bio-surfactants and bio-solvents. To see the CEN Technical Committees working in the areas of bio-based products and existing or European Standards and other deliverables (Technical Reports and Specifications) under development click in the link below:
A Sector Forum is a platform aiming at facilitating the exchange of information between the different stakeholders, coordinating and identifying the standardization needs in a specific standardization field.
European policy and Mandates
European Standards support existing European legislation and policy objectives regarding the bio-based economy.
The bio-based products market has been identified as a lead market by the European Commission's Lead Market Initiative. The Lead Market Initiative aims to support the up-take of the sectors indentified with policy instruments such as regulation, public procurements, standardization and other supporting activities, in order to lower barriers to bring these new products onto the market.
Standards are seen as essential elements in aggregating initial demand, in particular for new bio-based products. Standards for bio-based products can help to increase market transparency by providing common reference methods and requirements in order to verify claims about these products (e.g. bio-degradability, bio-based content, recyclability, sustainability). The importance of standards is also highlighted by the European Commission Communication COM (2012)60 on a Bioeconomy for Europe and in the Commission Communication COM (2012)582 on A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economy Recovery, which identifies bio-based products as one of the priority lines in which to focus investments and innovation.
Within the framework of the Lead Market Initiative for bio-based products, the European Commission has identified a lack of European standards for these products, in particular for the determination of bio-based content as well as other product capabilities including functionalities, the evaluation of environmental impact, and a number of other purposes. To address this shortcoming, the Commission has issued several standardisation mandates to CEN. CEN accepted the following Mandates in the area of bio-based products for standardisation work (all are in pdf format)
for the elaboration of a standardization programme for bio-based products
on bio-polymers and bio-lubricants
on bio-solvents and bio-surfactants
for the development of horizontal standards for bio-based products
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