The first-ever commercial flight to produce no landfill waste took to the skies last Wednesday, marking the start of Qantas’ plan to cut 100 million single-use plastics by end-2020 and eliminate 75 per cent of the airline’s waste by end-2021. All inflight products on board QF739, flying from Sydney to Adelaide and staffed by cabin crew from the Qantas ‘Green Team’, will be disposed of via compost, reuse or recycling.
“No, less, better plastic”. This is the mission of Unilever, one of the leading companies in the Food & Refreshment, Home, Beauty & Personal Care markets, in the fight against plastic. A complex challenge in which everyone must do their part given that, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s report on the “New Plastics Economy”, only 14% of the plastic packaging used worldwide reaches up to recycling plants and only 8% is actually recycled. Meanwhile, a third ends up in fragile ecosystems and 40% in landfills.
Christophe Schilling founded Genomatica in 1998. Since being named CEO in May 2009, he has led Genomatica to widespread recognition as a leader in industrial biotech, with a commercialized first process and plant and multiple leading partners. The company has earned awards for industry impact (recognized in ICIS Top40 Power Players five years in a row), engineering (Kirkpatrick), science (EPA Presidential Green Chemistry), industry leadership (voted #1 Hottest four years in a row by Biofuels Digest), and company culture (The Scientist as a Best Place to Work). Christophe is Chairman of Biocom, the largest advocate organization for California’s life sciences sector; serves on BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section Governing Board; serves on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Biotechnology; and is a member of YPO, an international leadership organization for chief executives. In this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista, he talks about the recent agreement with Covestro and the Genomatica’s way towards the bioeconomy.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
“Climate change is multiplying risks for investors in Asia, and unless unprecedented actions are taken we are on track to a 3°C world, with serious, severe impacts on water resources. Investment portfolios of Asian asset owners are uniquely exposed, putting the continent’s savings at risk”, says the new report presented by the Asian Investor Group on Climate Change, an initiative to create awareness among Asia’s asset owners and financial institutions about the risks and opportunities associated with climate change and low carbon investing
Pöyry Finland Ltd has completed a survey on socio-economic impacts of KaiCell Fibers’ biorefinery in Finland. According to the survey, the impact on the total output of Finland is close to one billion euros and over 700 million euros in the Kainuu province alone.
The on-going biorefinery project has a very remarkable impact on regional economy and employment. Through the indirect effects of the biorefinery, 1190 jobs are created in Kainuu region when the mill is operational. At national level, the employment effect is almost 2000 jobs. The impact of the construction period is 6400 person-years in Finland. Once mill is in operation, the increase on gross national product of Finland will be about 0,2% and in the area province of Kainuu, the increase will be 12 %. Continue reading
German materials manufacturer Covestro and California-based biotechnology company Genomatica joined forces to research and develop high-performance materials based on renewable feedstocks. With their collaboration announced on March 27, both partners are aiming to reduce the use of fossil-based resources such as crude oil. These are today still the most common carbon and raw material sources of the chemical and plastics industries. Using carbon from plants instead would help reduce CO2 emissions and close the carbon loop in another move towards a circular economy.
Climate change, population growth, soil degradation, biodiversity loss. These are the main challenges that humanity is called to face at the beginning of the millennium. The bioeconomy is one of the keys to tackling them and overcoming them, reconciling the economy, the environment and society. Based on the use of renewable biological resources as raw materials for industrial, energy, food and feed production, according to the European Union it has the potential to create at least one million jobs by 2030. The book that I wrote together with Irene Baños Ruiz aims at drawing a precise and up-to-date picture of the concept of bioeconomy, its origins, connections with sustainability and the circular economy and the multiple applications that we find in different products of our daily life.
I would like to thank particularly Philippe Mengal, executive director at BBI JU, and Marc Palahì, director at the European Forest Institute, who have written in a truly passionate way the foreword and the introduction of the book. Now “Che cosa è la bioeconomia” (What is the bioeconomy) is available only in Italian, soon also in English.
I would also like to thank all those who have accepted to be interviewed (Fabio Fava, Chris Patermann, Catia Bastioli, Massimo Centemero, Sandy Marshall, Mathieu Flamini, Jennifer Holmgren, Michael Carus and Frank Rijsberman) and in general all those who are making the sustainable and circular bioeconomy possible worldwide.
Renewable diesel fuel is soon to be much more accessible to fleet drivers looking to fuel up in northern and central California, thanks to cardlock locations that will be offering Neste MY Renewable Diesel™. This is the very first time vehicles can be fueled with this high performance low-carbon fuel directly at a station.
“Roquette is taking a holistic approach of bioeconomy by integrating various applications of plant-based resources and in particular those serving Nutrition and Health markets.” Christophe Rupp-Dahlem, Head of Global Public Affairs at Roquette, talks to Il Bioeconomista. In this exclusive interview he tells us what are Roquette’s main achievements in the bioeconomy and what the next steps.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Sweden has an ambitious target of being fossil-free by 2045. As a part of the initiative, a proposal for decarbonizing aviation in Sweden was announced ten days ago. The proposal suggests that Sweden would introduce a greenhouse gas reduction mandate for aviation fuel sold in Sweden. The reduction level would be 0.8% in 2021, and gradually increase to 27% in 2030. The reduction levels are estimated to be equivalent of 1% (11.000 tons) sustainable aviation fuel in 2021, 5% (56.000 tons) in 2025 and 30% (340 000 tons) in 2030. This makes Sweden an undisputed leader in decarbonizing aviation.