The Sustainability Quick Check for Biofuels (SQCB) tool allows the user to enter own data of the product life cycle for the parameters that (i) are most relevant and (ii) induce the highest variability for the environmental performance of a biofuel. In general, such important parameters are primarily related to the cultivation and the processing of a biofuel. Parameters which have a low impact on the overall results or which are quite similar among different value chains, like e.g. transport or usage of the biofuel, are taken as background data from the reference life cycle database, which is ecoinvent . Figure 1 shows the basic principle of the SQCB.
The most important input parameters of the life cycle of biofuels can be entered in a questionnaire. Where specific data is lacking or where simplifications only induce minor variability, the SQCB relies on background data from the ecoinvent database. Emissions are calculated on the basis of the entered data.
The questionnaire of the SQCB strongly focusses on data entry for the agricultural step (mineral and organic fertilizers, pesticide use, irrigation, yield, former land use) and the processing steps (energy use, chemicals, allocation, etc.). In addition, compliance with the requirements for social criteria has to be confirmed.