Brazil pioneered the application of economic stimulus policies allying social equity measures with the production of biodiesel. Despite the original expectations, there are concerns about possible negative social impacts generated by the conditions prevailing in the production of the feedstocks. In this study, the social life cycle assessment methodology was used to assess the impacts of these conditions. The study covers qualitative and quantitative analysis. Firstly, a systematic review of studies published between 2015 and 2020 allowed the identification and classification of the social impacts in the categories and subcategories proposed by the United Nations Environment Programme and Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. A methodology to attribute grades to the social impacts was then proposed based on the subcategory assessment method. A computational routine was developed in R language to assess, evaluate and compare data from different sources, including data from government agencies. The results revealed the positive influence of cooperatives on the well-being of workers. Also, workers in wealthier regions often endure longer work hours to earn a living, while workers in more impoverished regions are more likely to receive salaries below the minimum wage. Correlations between sex, race, workload and salary were also identified. It was concluded that, despite the current policies in place, social inequalities remain in the populations involved in biodiesel production. The results also suggest the need to account for the social life cycle when evaluating the overall sustainability of a national biofuels policy.

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