Opening bio-based markets via standards, labelling and procurement


Open-Bio was the follow-up project to KBBPPS (Knowledge Based Bio-based Products’ Pre-Standardization), intiated in November 2013 and finished October 2016. Open-Bio builded further on the results of KBBPPS, refining them and developing further knowledge on implementation of the standardization result in relation to market development.

Open-Bio investigates how markets can be opened for bio-based products through standardization, labelling and procurement. Therefore, one focus is on the sustainability of the bio-based resources and potential testing methods for this criterion. The end-of-life research will be expanded to different biodegradation scenarios, composting and recyclability. Functionality testing will focus on the gaps identified by KBBPPS and on the special properties of bio-based products.

A new aspect is communication: Open-Bio will also investigate the needs and demands of consumer groups and develop a system that can provide the relevant information about bio-based products to make buying decisions easier for businesses, public procurement and private customers. Part of the project is also to conceptualize an Ecolabel that can be applied to bio-based products to strengthen consumer confidence and boost market demand

Publicly available documents from Open-Bio

Reports of the Open-Bio research project:

Final report Open-Bio


During the project, several workshops were held to consult with advisory partners and the public. Here you will find the reports and presentations from these workshops.

First workshop report
Mid Term Workshop report
Final workshop report


Informative leaflet

Open-Bio leaflet final

Bio-based content

Evaluation of different techniques for determination of bio-based content

This report presents the comparison between different methods for the bio-based content determination. Radiocarbon method supplemented by elemental analysis is the standardized method used for the determination of bio-based carbon content and total bio-based content. This report discusses a possibility to use stable isotope analysis for the de-termination of total bio-based content.

Evaluation of techniques


Determination of carbon content

This report presents the results of the round robin assessment that was organised with the aim to investigate the performance characteristics of the method (described in CEN/TS 16640) for the bio-based carbon content determination, in order to convert the available technical specification into the European standard.

The round robin test was carried out to determine the influence of parameters which may vary between individual laboratories. Subsequently, the reproducibility standard deviations were calculated based on the results reported by each laboratory. Statistical evaluation of the results was done when analysing the results from all participating laboratories on each individual sample.

Final report:

Horizontal bio-based carbon content standard

Appendixes (round robin results):

Horizontal bio-based carbon content standard – appendix A

Horizontal bio-based carbon content standard – appendix B


Definitions of renewable elements and renewable molecules

This report is an attempt to describe definitions for renewable elements and molecules (as components of bio-based products). The purpose of these definitions is to assist when preparing sustainability criteria for the indirect assessments of bio-based products.

Definitions for renewable elements and renewable molecules


A methodology for the indirect assessment of the renewability of bio-based products

This document describes an indirect method for the assessment of bio-based product recirculation. The test method described in this report has been developed to improve the design features of bio-based products so that they are made of the most appropriate renewable feedstocks, and are easily and effectively treated at end-of-life. This has the potential to lessen the environmental impact of plastics and other chemical products, building materials etc.

A methodology for the indirect assessment of the renewability of bio-based products

A methodology for the indirect assessment of the renewability of bio-based products appendix


Bio-based sustainability schemes

This report identifies and explores sustainability issues relevant for bio-based products. It investigates what lessons can be learned from biomass sustainability schemes for bioenergy and biofuels and what topics not currently covered in biomass sustainability schemes (such as cascading use, ILUC and carbon storage in products) mean for bio-based products.

Bio-based sustainability schemes chapter 1-2


Assessment and development of automation of direct bio-content

This deliverable presents the different specifications of direct automation based on isotopic methods, analytical combinations, precision and upcoming improvement in this field.

Assessment and development of automation of direct bio-content


Managed end-of-life options

Review on centralized and decentralized composting

The main objectives of the research towards centralized and decentralized composting are to critically review existing standards and practice on centralized composting of (bio-based) products and to write a proposal in order to improve the European standards with regard to centralized composting.

Therefore, this report contains a critical review on available standards and practices and an evalu-ation of benefits and shortcomings. This research has not been limited to Europe, but was carried out on a worldwide basis.

centralized composting

decentralized composting chapter 1 -3

decentralized composting 4 – 5


Review on standards for biogasification

This report contains a review of existing standards on anaerobic digestion and biogasification of (bio-based) products and the development of a horizontal test methodology, testing scheme and acceptance criteria for (bio-based) products to be compatible with biogasification as end-of-life option. Also an evaluation of benefits and shortcomings with a specific focus on products and components most likely to end up in gasification plants, i.e. bio-based plastics and bio-based packaging materials.

This research has not been limited to Europe, but was carried out on a worldwide basis.

biogasification chapter 1 -4

biogasification chapter 5 – 8


Functionality testing of bio-based products

Mechanical, chemical, thermal and additional functionality testing

Report on functionality testing for demonstrating the functionality of novel Bio-based Products. For this research, 7 key product categories were selected for testing;

1. Packaging Films

2. Disposable cups & plates

3. WPC decking

4. Pre manufactured components/insulation

5. Mulch films

6. Adhesives and binders

7. Bio-solvents

Key mechanical properties, key chemical/thermal parameters and additional functionalities that ensure the fucntionality of the bio-based project over its entire product life were defined. This implies testing before and after use or before and after ageing.

Additionally, specific characteristics of the bio-based products that differ from existing petrochemical products were addressed.

In each product category commercially available bio-based products have been selected for functionality testing.

Functionality testing


In situ biodegradation

Review of current methods and standards relevant to marine degradation

See the testing of marine biodegradation, performed by HYDRA:


Open-Bio Review of current methods and standards relevant to marine degradation. CHAPTER 1 – 6

Open-Bio Review of current methods and standards relevant to marine degradation CHAPTER 7 -9

Open-BioD5.7_public summary

Product Information List

Available tools and best practices

With the development of a Product Information list, the project aims at developing a European product information database of bio-based products that could be used for public procurement (B2P) and communication among producers of bio-based materials (B2B). The database should also be used to promote the uptake of bio-based products in consumer markets (B2C).

This first report gives an overview of existing tools and best practices, leading to recommendations that were implemented in the development of the database.

Product Information List – available tools and best practices


Requirements of product information list

This report presents stakeholder research on Business, Public Procurement and Consumers regarding their product information requirements towards bio-based products. It analysis data regarding the information and the expressed need for standardization related to a list of product information items and makes suggestions for product information which is streamlined towards the requirements of the analysed stakeholder groups. Results contributed to the development of teh European bio-based product database and information tool.

Requirements of product information list


Final interaction tool

The final result of this subproject is the establishment of a product database. The database itself is going to be incorporated in the InnProBio-project, for now it is accessible via this link.

Final interaction tool

Social acceptance of bio-based products

Acceptance factors

This report includes the identification of key criteria for the acceptance of bio-based products and related standards and information systems, including labelling options for bio-based products. This report provides an overview of acceptance factors for the following three target groups: consumers,  businesses and public procurement officials.


The reported findings represent preliminary results from a first stage of empirical research, conducted in the EU Member States. It presents findings from qualitative focus group re-search on consumer acceptance and the first round of a two-stage Delphi survey targeting the business community and public procurement officials (based on separate survey ques-tionnaires). This report presents a summary of key findings1 from this first stage of research.

acceptance factors for bio-based information systems


The following three Annexes represent empirical findings on the acceptance of bio-based products by consumers, public procurers and the business-to-business market.


Annex I Consumers

Annex II Business-to-Business market

Annex III Public Procurement


Social Acceptance

Acceptance factors for bio-based products and related information systems

Annex prt 1

Annex 2 prt 2

Annex 3

Decisive factors for NGO acceptance of bio-based products 

This report provides an overview on acceptance factors specifically for NGO’s. The reported findings represent results of desk study, online survey, and online workshop targeting NGO’s. The four key research questions were:

  • Which NGOs are relevant to the standardization of bio-based products?
  • How do these NGOs operate (i.e., positioning, strategies)?
  • Which issues/subjects are important for these NGOs to evaluate the sustainability of BBPs?
  • What are the requirements for these NGOs to accept standards and information sys-tems for bio-based products?

Decisive factors for NGO acceptance of bio-based products


Market Acceptance

Poster representing the findings of the delphi studies carried out on market acceptance of bio-based products.

Poster Market Acceptance



EU Ecolabel

One of the Open-Bio work packages dealt with the question, whether the EU Ecolabel can be extended to explicitly cover bio-based products, and if yes, how. The objective was to assess the suitability of ecolabel criteria for bio-based products, or in other words, to find out whether the existing criteria of ecolabels can be applied to bio-based products, whether there are conflicts of harmonization and whether additional criteria can or have to be added in order to adequately label bio-based products.

The most important findings of this research is written in this article: