Practitioners’ Perceptions of Co-Product Allocation Methods in Biorefinery Development : A Case Study of the Austrian Pulp and Paper Industry
Wenger, J., Pichler, S., Näyhä, A., & Stern, T. (2022). Practitioners’ Perceptions of Co-Product Allocation Methods in Biorefinery Development : A Case Study of the Austrian Pulp and Paper Industry. Sustainability, 14(5), Article 2619. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052619
DisciplineKestävä liiketoiminta ja talous (painoala)Yritysten ympäristöjohtaminenSustainable BusinessResurssiviisausyhteisöBasic or discovery scholarshipSustainable Business and Economy (focus area)Corporate Environmental ManagementSustainable BusinessSchool of Resource WisdomBasic or discovery scholarship
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The utilization of coproducts is a strategy that can be applied to increase the economic and environmental performance of industrial processes and thus reach an objective targeted in several environmental policies. In multi-output production processes, allocation needs to be performed to assess the products’ environmental and economic performance. It is crucial to choose an adequate allocation method, because this choice has been shown to strongly influence overall outcomes. Consequently, rash choices can lead to poor decision-making. Various ways to apply and combine allocation methods can be found in the academic literature, but it is often difficult to find sufficient guidance on how to choose an allocation method for a specific context. This study explores practitioners’ perceptions of the cost and environmental impact allocation methods used in biorefinery development (lignin, fiber fines) by applying the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Results indicate that professional background represents a major factor influencing individual preferences and, thus, the selection of specific allocation methods. Policy makers should be aware that practitioners with different professional backgrounds have varying preferences for different allocation methods and that this influences the overall assessments. These factors, in turn, affect the interpretation of results, further decision-making and, ultimately, the realization of environmentally sound and economically viable biorefinery projects. This issue deserves more attention in biorefineries, but also in other multi-output production processes. The findings indicate a need to consider multidisciplinary, diverse views and knowledge when conducting such assessments and to display the underlying approaches transparently. ...
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- Kauppakorkeakoulu 
Additional information about fundingOpen access funding was provided by University of Graz. Julia Wenger, Stefan Pichler and Tobias Stern received funding through the project FLIPPR2 (Future Lignin and Pulp Processing Research—PROCESS INTEGRATION; FFG project number: 861476), which is financially supported by the industrial partners Sappi Austria Produktions-GmbH & Co KG, Zellstoff Pöls AG and Mondi Frantschach GmbH, as well as the Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies (COMET), which are promoted by BMVIT, BMDW, Styria and Carinthia and managed by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). ...
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