opening the conceptual design of biobased processes to a context-sensitive sustainability analysis

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Biobased production has been promoted as an alternative to fossil-based production to mitigate climate change. However, emerging concerns over the sustainability of biobased products have shown that tensions can emerge between different objectives and concerns, like emission reduction targets and food security, and that these are dependent on local contexts. Here we present the Open Sustainability-in-Design (OSiD) framework, the aim of which is to integrate a context-sensitive sustainability analysis in the conceptual design of biobased processes. The framework is illustrated, taking as an example the production of sustainable aviation fuel in southeast Brazil. The OSiD framework is a novel concept that brings the perspectives of stakeholders and considerations of the regional context to an ex ante sustainability analysis of biobased production. This work also illustrates a way to integrate methods from different scientific disciplines supporting the analysis of sustainability and the identification of tensions between different sustainability aspects. Making these tensions explicit early in the development of biobased production can make them more responsive to emerging sustainability concerns. Considering the global pressure to reduce carbon emissions, situating sustainability analyses in their socio-technical contexts as presented here can help to explain and improve the impacts of biobased production in the transition away from fossil resources.