Table 3: List of recommended socioeconomic indicators for bioenergy sustainability (derived from Dale et al. (2013) [5]).


Social well beingEmployment Number of full time equivalent (FTE) jobs1
Household incomeDollars per day
Work days lost due to injuryAverage number of work days lost per worker per year
Food security Percent change in food price volatility

Energy securityEnergy security premiumDollars/gallon biofuel
Fuel supply volatilityStandard deviation of monthly percentage price changes over one year

External trade Terms of tradeRatio (price of exports/price of imports)
Trade volumeDollars (net exports or balance of payments)

ProfitabilityReturn on investment
Percent (net investment/initial investment)
Net present value (NPV)2,3Dollars (present value of benefits minus present value of costs)

Depletion of non-renewable energy resources Amount of petroleum extracted per year (MT)
Fossil Energy Return on Investment (fossil EROI)Ratio of amount of fossil energy inputs to amount of useful energy output (MJ) (adjusted for energy quality)

Social acceptability Public opinionPercent favorable opinion
TransparencyPercent of indicators for which timely and relevant performance data are reported5
Effective stakeholder participationPercent of documented responses to stakeholder concerns and suggestions reported on an annual basis
Risk of catastrophe4Annual probability of catastrophic event

1FTE employment includes net new jobs created, plus jobs maintained that otherwise would have been lost, as a result of the system being assessed.
2Conventional economic models can address long-term sustainability issues by extending the planning horizon, projecting as an infinite geometric series, or calculating with a low discount rate.
3Can be expanded to include non-market externalities (e.g., water quality, GHG emissions).
4A catastrophic event can be defined as an event or accident that has more than 10 human fatalities, affects an area greater than 1000 ha, or leads to extinction or extirpation of a species.
5For example this measure could be the percent of all social, economic and environmental indicators identified via stakeholder consultation or the percent of the 35 indicators listed here and in McBride et al. [4] for which relevant baseline, target, and performance data are reported and made available to the public on a timely basis (at least annually).