A1 Journal article (refereed)
Practitioners’ Perceptions of Co-Product Allocation Methods in Biorefinery Development : A Case Study of the Austrian Pulp and Paper Industry (2022)

Wenger, J., Pichler, S., Näyhä, A., & Stern, T. (2022). Practitioners’ Perceptions of Co-Product Allocation Methods in Biorefinery Development : A Case Study of the Austrian Pulp and Paper Industry. Sustainability, 14(5), Article 2619. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052619

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsWenger, Julia; Pichler, Stefan; Näyhä, Annukka; Stern, Tobias

Journal or seriesSustainability


Publication year2022

Publication date24/02/2022


Issue number5

Article number2619

PublisherMDPI AG

Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/80410


The utilization of coproducts is a strategy that can be applied to increase the economic and environmental performance of industrial processes and thus reach an objective targeted in several environmental policies. In multi-output production processes, allocation needs to be performed to assess the products’ environmental and economic performance. It is crucial to choose an adequate allocation method, because this choice has been shown to strongly influence overall outcomes. Consequently, rash choices can lead to poor decision-making. Various ways to apply and combine allocation methods can be found in the academic literature, but it is often difficult to find sufficient guidance on how to choose an allocation method for a specific context. This study explores practitioners’ perceptions of the cost and environmental impact allocation methods used in biorefinery development (lignin, fiber fines) by applying the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Results indicate that professional background represents a major factor influencing individual preferences and, thus, the selection of specific allocation methods. Policy makers should be aware that practitioners with different professional backgrounds have varying preferences for different allocation methods and that this influences the overall assessments. These factors, in turn, affect the interpretation of results, further decision-making and, ultimately, the realization of environmentally sound and economically viable biorefinery projects. This issue deserves more attention in biorefineries, but also in other multi-output production processes. The findings indicate a need to consider multidisciplinary, diverse views and knowledge when conducting such assessments and to display the underlying approaches transparently.

Keywordsbiorefineriesby-productsresource allocationdecision makingenvironmental effectseconomic efficiencyenvironmental leadership

Free keywordsallocation of costs and environmental impacts; corporate environmental management; wood biorefineries; stakeholder perception; analytic hierarchy process (AHP); multicriteria decision-making

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 18:26