Participatory selection of sustainability criteria and indicators for bioenergy developments

David J. Blackwood, Thomas Kurka

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    57 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper presents a generic approach for selecting sustainability criteria and indicators (C&I) by using a participatory methodology. Selecting appropriate C&I to assess the sustainability of projects or developments is crucial and significantly influences the assessment results. The methodology, which consists of two processes: a pre-selection of suitable C&I by the researchers and a final selection by regional bioenergy experts in a multi-stakeholder forum, was applied in a Scottish region (Tayside & Fife).The paper concludes that the methodology provides a transferable approach to systematically select C&I and to justify this selection. Furthermore, the pre-selected and final C&I for the case study can serve as a benchmark set and starting point for similar decision making situations in other regions. In order to provide a wide application potential for the bioenergy field, the case study took account of a range of scenarios and alternatives. Moreover, the identified C&I and requirements for selection from literature provide a broad application potential to assist C&I selection, as they cover the sustainability field in general, the energy sector and the bioenergy sector in particular.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)92-102
    Number of pages11
    JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
    Early online date11 Apr 2013
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


    • Bioenergy
    • Sustainability
    • Criteria and indicators
    • Criteria selection
    • Participatory decision making


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