Finding bio-based products can be difficult at the best of times. The industry can often lack unity and clarity for the procurement of products under one place, until now. Open-Bio have developed a new initiative that aims to solve this problem once and for all. Over the past three years the company has collated information in a secure database about the sellers for bio-based products from a range of different categories like: electronics, clothes and textiles, food and catering events and medical equipment just to name a few. This new database supports the public procurements of these goods. This should make the process a lot simpler providing a new opportunity to explore the bio economy.
This is what inspired Open-Bio in 2013. Open-Bio is a European project that investigates how markets could be opened for bio-based products through standardisation, labelling and procurement. As one main result informed by customer needs and demands, the project developed a database that provides relevant information about bio-based end products to assist public buyers in making purchasing decisions. Its main goal is to simplify the lives of procurement officials that want to pay more attention to bio-based products but don’t know where to start.
The future of the bio-based economy lies in the greater public awareness and accessible information for the public. Application of standards, certification schemes and labels has a positive long-term effect on the overall development of the European bio-based product market. Public acceptance of bio-based products is supported by ensuring the sustainable sourcing of raw materials, the effective bio-content, the end-of-life options and a clear identification of their functionality in relation to regular products. Good product information that presents this to companies, consumers and public perception is essential for the usage of these new products. Clear and harmonized labels on products will further boost public acceptance. It covers research and demonstration on direct and indirect biomass content methods, biodegradability and eco-toxicity tests.
To network with other experts in the industry discover more at Bio-Based Live Europe! Confirmed speakers include representatives from Ikea, H&M, Tipa and Braska just to name a few.
The database presents various bio-based products which are relevant for public procurers and sorted by application area, product type and Common Procurement Vocabulary Code. In the database, users find information about the bio-based content of products, sustainability, functionality and end-of-life aspects, such as biodegradability. Claims are supported by references to standards, technical sheets and labels. The database shall become a starting point for public purchasers to get informed about the various bio-based products available on the European market. It can be used as an entrance portal for market research in order to widen the public procurement product portfolio beyond conventional fossil based products.
So far the collated data for bio-based food and catering services and vehicle and mobility is the most comprehensive. To name just a few from the list are:
- Pacovis AG – provider of food and catering for events.
- Carl Bechem – Vehicles and mobility
- VestaEco – furniture and indoor interiors
- THERMO NATUR – Construction and infrastructure
Part of the project is also to conceptualise an Ecolabel that can be applied to bio-based products to strengthen consumer confidence and boost market demand. The EU Ecolabel will help to identify products and services that have a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle, from the extraction of raw material through to production, use and disposal. Recognised throughout Europe, EU Ecolabel is a voluntary label promoting environmental excellence which can be trusted.
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