Report to Congress Garners International Attention
A Report to Congress authored by researchers at the Duke Center for Sustainability and Commerce has received major attention from media in the US and abroad. The report "An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry A Report to the Congress of the United States of America" is the most comprehensive effort to date to model and quantify the economic, jobs and environmental implications of the biobased industrial sectors within the United States. Lead author Dr. Jay Golden of the Nicholas School of the Environment stated, "This was a tremendous effort that benefited greatly from the valuable input we received from industry partners, government agencies and fellow academics."
In a Press Release , US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stated, "This report is the first to examine and quantify the effect of the U.S. biobased products industry from an economics and jobs perspective. Before, we could only speculate at the incredible economic impact of the biobased products industry. Now, we know that in 2013 alone, America's biobased industry contributed four million jobs and $369 billion to our economy," Vilsack said. "Today, we are also adding to the number of innovative products carrying USDA's BioPreferred® label and expanding options for our nation's biorefineries. This means small businesses and global companies alike can continue to harness the power of America's farms and forests to create new and innovative biobased products that are used all around the world."
According to the Economic Impact of the Biobased Product Industry report, each job in the biobased products industry is responsible for generating 1.64 jobs in other sectors of the economy. In 2013, 1.5 million jobs directly supported the biobased product industry, resulting in 1.1 million indirect jobs in related industries, and another 1.4 million induced jobs produced from the purchase of goods and services generated by the direct and indirect jobs.
The report builds on Dr. Golden’s led report" Why Biobased?" report released by the USDA in October 2014. Estimates are that the use of biobased products currently displaces about 300 million gallons of petroleum per year - equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road.