the 29th July 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA) published its report highlighting the economic impact of the U.S.
biobased products industry. The report had been commissioned by the USDA Rural
Development BioPreferred® program, an initiative created in 2002 and
expanded in 2018, and which aims to “increase the purchase and the use of
biobased products” (USDA, 2002). Overall, the analysis finds that biobased
products are having a positive impact on both the US economy and on the
environment, showing that transition towards a decarbonised industry is so far
2017, the biobased products industry generated around $470 billion value added
to the US economy, including $162 billion in direct sales and $309 billion in
spillover sales. This represents a 2.4% increase compared to 2016, the data for
which was presented in an earlier report. These findings cover seven sectors of
the biobased industry, namely: agriculture and forestry, biorefining, biobased
chemicals, enzymes, bioplastic bottles and packaging, forest products and
the many positive results presented in the report, the USDA shows that the
biobased products industry has contributed to creating job opportunities in the
country. In 2017, the biobased products industry supported 4.6 million American
jobs through direct, indirect and induced contributions. This total number included
around 1.65 million jobs directly in the biobased products industry and 2.96
million spillover jobs. Overall, for every biobased products industry job, an
additional 1.79 jobs were supported. The states which benefited the most from
the biobased products industry, and which created the most jobs, are
California, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
result of the development of this industry, the USDA estimates that these new
sustainable products and practices have reduced the need for oil barrels by
around 9.4 million in 2017. The report explains that this reduction was likely
due to two main mechanisms: the use of biobased chemical feedstocks in place of
crude oil derived chemicals, and the use of biobased materials as substitutes
for traditionally petroleum-based products. In addition, the report estimates
that greenhouse gas emissions will drop by around 12.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year as a result of the biobased products industry.
more information, the full USDA “Economic impact analysis of the U.S. biobased
products industry (2019)”, along with summary factsheets, are available here.