Social sustainability of treatment technologies for bioenergy generation from the municipal solid waste using best worst method

Zahra Alidoosti, A. Sadegheih, K. Govindan, M. S. Pishvaee, A. Mostafaeipour, Abul K. Hossain

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Despite the fundamental role of the social aspect in the implementation of sustainability in the bio-based industries, most of the sustainability assessments research have addressed the environmental and economic dimensions. However, the social dimension has been neglected and it can cause an irreparable outcome in the biotechnology industries.

Following this issue, this study propounds a modified systemic approach for a social sustainability impact assessment of the treatment technologies for converting waste into bioenergy, based on a review on the common social assessment methods.

As it is known, the guideline presented by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2009) due to considering social life cycle assessment has a comprehensive look at the stakeholders. Therefore, in this paper, UNEP method was selected. However, it needs to be modified based on the bio-energy supply chain derived from municipal solid waste. For this purpose, the bioenergy value chain derived from municipal solid waste was designed and combined with UNEP guideline, to complete the level of stakeholder subgroups and the levels of the indicators. The final method of the social assessment system was presented to the board of experts and finalized.

In order to design the measurement part of the social assessment system, because of a multi criteria decision making nature of the social sustainability evaluation of the conversion technologies of municipal solid waste to bio-energies, a recent developed multi-criteria decision making method so-called Best Worst Method (BWM) was used in two stages. The criteria are ranked according to their average weight obtained through Best Worst method. One of the major novelties in this research is the way of application of the best worst technique in the second stage. The model was implemented in the case of Tehran as one of the pioneering Iranian municipalities with high potential to produce bioenergy. The results of this study help decision makers to decide where to concentrate their attention during the implementation stage, and to increase social sustainability in their bioenergy supply chains derived waste.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125592
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date22 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2021

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© 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


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