The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) BioPreferred® Program released a report, An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry (2018), that shows a growing bioeconomy leads to higher revenues, more jobs, innovative partnerships, and key environmental benefits. The report is the third in a series to examine and quantify the economic impact of the U.S. biobased products industry.

The BioPreferred Program commissioned the report, which was prepared by researchers associated with Duke University, North Carolina State University, East Carolina University, and Louisiana Tech University. The report covers seven major sectors of the U.S. biobased products industry: Agriculture and Forestry, Biobased Chemicals, Bioplastic Bottles and Packaging, Biorefining, Enzymes, Forest Products, and Textiles.

The report’s authors note that while there is no database that tracks the quantity of biobased products sold, they estimate that 40,000 would be a conservative estimate of the total number of existing biobased products. This estimate is dramatically higher than the 20,000 products in the BioPreferred Program’s database.

The new report provides an analysis of 2016 data and finds that the U.S. biobased products industry:

  • Employed 4.65 million people in 2016, an increase of 17% from 2014.
  • Contributed $459 billion of value to the U.S. economy in 2016, an increase of more than 10% from 2014.
  • Displaced the use of as much as 9.4 million barrels of oil equivalents in 2016.
  • Reduced up to 12.7 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents in 2016.
  • Exported products that supported an estimated 555 thousand U.S. jobs and $57 billion in value added to the U.S. economy.

Previous economic reports commissioned by the BioPreferred program: