A new report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that in 2014, the biobased products industry contributed $393 billion and 4.2 million jobs to America’s recovering economy. The report also indicates that the sector grew from 2013 to 2014, creating or supporting an additional 220,000 jobs and $24 billion over that period.
“When USDA released the first-ever Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry last year, we were thrilled to see what a positive impact this sector was having on our economy,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This updated analysis shows that the sector is not just holding strong, but growing. America has an appetite for everyday products-including plastic bottles, textiles, cleanings supplies and more-made from renewable sources, and that demand is fueling millions of jobs, bringing manufacturing back to our rural communities, and reducing our nation’s carbon footprint.”
The latest report analyzes revenue and jobs created by the biobased products industry at the national and state level in 2014. The industry directly supported 1.53 million jobs in 2014, with each job in the industry responsible for generating 1.76 jobs in other sectors.
In addition to their contribution to the rural economy, innovative biobased materials also have key environmental benefits including the reduction of the use of fossil fuels and reduced associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The production and use of biobased products replacing petroleum-based products had the potential to reduce GHG emissions up to 10 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents in 2014.
These materials are increasingly being used as substitutes for petroleum-based materials that have been used extensively for many years. The increased use of biobased products currently displaces about 300 million gallons of petroleum per year – the equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road.