Converting by-products to biofuel will deliver jobs - if a stronger policy framework is put in place: An Taisce

Converting by-products to biofuel, particularly residues from agriculture, forestry and food processing, can deliver a significant jobs boost, but only if the right policies are put in place now, according to An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland.

Drawing attention to a major new study, ‘Wasted: Europe's untapped resource’, James Nix, Policy Director of An Taisce notes that “the better use of by-products could create up to 300,000 jobs across the EU and supply some 16% of road transport demand - but only if this sector is maximised”.

The report, backed by a range of industries and environment organisations, found that provided the right safeguards are put in place significant volumes of wastes and residues could be converted to biofuels without creating sustainability problems.

Key by-products highlighted by the study include residues from timber-processing as well as residues from harvesting certain food crops. The report draws particular attention to the recovery of increased volumes of used cooking oil, something it pinpoints as having the potential to increase. Currently, some 1.1m tonnes of used cooking oil is converted to transport fuel in the EU.

Taking the by-products sector as a whole, new permanent jobs would be created in transport, processing and ancillary services, while the construction of new plants to recover by-products will create short-term jobs.

Calling for a more pro-active approach from Government, James Nix of An Taisce, a leading environmental chartity, said that “policy uncertainty was the main stumbling block holding back investment, something made very clear by the report”.

Companies behind the report include British Airways and Petrotec while environmental organisations include Transport & Environment, Birdlife and the European Environment Bureau.


For further information, please call:

James Nix, Policy Director, An Taisce Tel: +353 86 8394129

Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce Tel: +353 87 2411995

email: [email protected]

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland


The research in this project was conducted by the International Council for Clean Transportation and the NNFCC, and it was reviewed by the Institute for European Environmental Policy. The project was supported by the following organizations: Biochemtex, Birdlife Europe, British Airways, European Climate Foundation, the European Environmental Bureau, European Waste to Advanced Biofuels Association, Institute for European Environmental Policy, LanzaTech, Novozymes, Petrotec, Transport & Environment, UPM, Virgin Atlantic Airways, WWF. Report ‘Wasted: Europe’s Untapped Resource’ available here: