In view of the diminishing oil resources and the ongoing climate change, the use of efficient and environmentally benign technologies for the utilization of renewable resources has become indispensible. Therein, hydrogenolysis reactions offer a promising possibility for future biorefinery concepts. These reactions result in the cleavage of CC and CO bonds by hydrogen and allow direct access to valuable platform chemicals already integrated in today’s value chains. Thus, hydrogenolysis bears the potential to bridge currently available technologies and future biomass-based refinery concepts. This Review highlights past and present developments in this field, with special emphasis on the direct utilization of cellulosic feedstocks.