• sustainability;
  • biodiesel;
  • stakeholders;
  • AHP technique

The aim of this article is to prioritize the factors and alternatives relating to the reference conditions for the biodiesel production chain for the Brazilian Program for Biodiesel Use and Production. Multicriteria mapping of stakeholders' preferences was used to structure 20 interviews with specialists from Brazil representing three key areas (academy, industry, and regulatory bodies). The methodology started with a review of the literature on the sustainability of the biodiesel production chain based on market data, a review of 138 scientific articles indexed in the CAPES “Web of Science” database, which were searched using “biodiesel” and “sustainability” as keywords, and an analysis of the sustainability criteria used in related legislation and voluntary sustainability initiatives. Next, the reference conditions for the sustainability of the biodiesel production chain were structured, starting with the links and then the factors and their respective impacts and prioritizations given by the stakeholders. The results obtained from all the respondents indicate that the six most critical parameters are: improving the productive capacity of the land, non deforestation, production inputs, land access, engine problems, and land use for food production, which jointly accounted for 55.5% of the total priorities. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 32: 1262–1270, 2013