In any consideration of sustainable biomass production, land use is the most critical issue, especially the indirect land-use impacts on greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity. Use of waste resources and agricultural and forestry residues that does not involve additional land use would therefore be a sustainable option. Technically, it is possible to use these types of resources for most applications in a bio-based economy. However, it seems unlikely that by 2030 waste and residue resources will contribute more than three to four per cent to final energy and feedstock consumption in Europe. Moreover, many waste and residue resources currently already have useful applications, as livestock feed or soil improvers, for instance.
In the transition to an ecologically sustainable bio-based economy that aims to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, three priorities can be distinguished: