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The German nova-Institute is conducting on behalf of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC) on an annual basis a study analyzing the macroeconomic effects generated by the European bio-economy, mainly based on Eurostat-data. We are now able to compare the data for the years 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2015, indicating some trends.
Dirk Carrez

The data show that the turnover of the total bioeconomy in the EU-28 increased continuously from 2.09 trillion EUR to 2.29 trillion EUR. Roughly half of this comes from the food and beverages sector, almost a quarter of the turnover is produced by the primary sectors (agriculture and forestry), while the other quarter is produced by the bio-based industries (such as chemicals and plastics, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, forest-based industries, textile sector, biofuels and bioenergy).

The total turnover of the bio-based industries increased from 647 billion in 2008 to 698 billion Euro in 2015. Biofuels and bioenergy together accounted for roughly 12% of the turnover of the EU ‘bio-based economy’, which corresponds to a total amount of approximately 80 billion Euro, while the sectors paper and paper products (27%) and forest-based industry (wood products and furniture, 25%) make up for the largest shares of turnover: together this amounts to roughly 360 billion €. Bio-based chemicals and plastics accounted for 50 billion €.


The employment within the total European bioeconomy results in 13.9 million jobs with about 3 quarters in the primary sector. The total employment in the ‘bio-based industries’ is 3.7 million jobs in 2015. The most prominent sectors are the forest-based industry, paper and paper products, and the textile industry.

Chemical industry

The study also showed an overall increase in the bio-based share in the EU-28 from 5.8% in 2008 to 7.3% in 2015. The raw material for the chemical industry is about 50% organic (fossil and bio-based) and about 50% inorganic (minerals, metals). Only taking the organic part into account, the overall bio-based share increased from 12% in 2008 to 15 % in 2015.

Dirk Carrez, managing director Bio-Based Industries Consortium