While it may not always seem like it, our world is slowly becoming more eco-conscious. People, and particularly those in younger generations, are recognizing the threats of climate change and looking for ways to contribute to a healing effort. There’s still a great deal of work to be done though, and right now, in the spring of 2020, we may be at something of a crossroads.
DuPont Industrial Biosciences officially broke ground last Thursday on its new site at the Leiden Bio Science Park in Oegstgeest, the Netherlands. The state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary facility will utilize the tools of modern biotechnology to make industrial processes more efficient and products more sustainable. The bio-based solutions created in Leiden will have a direct impact on some of the most pressing societal issues of today: reducing food waste; reducing the environmental impacts of livestock farming and improving animal health; producing renewable fuels; and lowering environmental impacts in the textile and laundry industries.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published its report on the circular economy and the bioeconomy. The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability shows that the two policy agendas have similar objectives and areas of intervention, including food waste, biomass and bio-based products, and that they would benefit from stronger links, particularly in product and infrastructure design, and collaboration throughout the value chain.
With the Food is Precious initiative IKEA aims to cut food waste by 50% in all IKEA stores by August 2020. A little more than a year since the roll out of the initiative IKEA has diminished food waste that is equivalent to one million meals.To put that into a context; one million meals could feed one thousand people for a whole year.
The LEGO Group announced a significant investment of DKK 1 billion (approximately € 135 million) dedicated to research, development and implementation of new, sustainable, raw materials to manufacture LEGO® elements as well as packaging materials. The LEGO Group believes a new sustainable material must have an ever-lighter footprint than the material it replaces across key environmental and social impact areas such as fossil resource use, human rights and climate change.
Bayer MaterialScience, a Bayer Group company among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2014 sales of 11.7 billion euro, is introducing a range of waterborne, bio-based polyurethane (PU) dispersions under the Impranil® eco name. With a renewable content that reaches as high as 65 percent, this product class contributes to a further reduction of CO2emissions, thus further improving the sustainability of waterborne PU. The products are part of the INSQIN® program for waterborne PU for textiles.
Walmart announced last Tuesday the debut of its Sustainability Leaders shop, an online shopping portal on Walmart.com that helps customers identify and purchase products from suppliers that are leading in sustainability.
Today BASF’s Crop Protection division (with sales of around €4.7 billion in 2012) presented its solutions for the future of food availability and quality of life in Asia Pacific. BASF aims to address these challenges by introducing new technologies, broadening farmer education and co-creation initiatives, increasing investments in production capacity and R&D as well as collaborating with food value chain partners. These initiatives will enable BASF to support growers in Asia Pacific more efficiently and broadly.
From 2008 to 2012, the Crop Protection division’s R&D expenditures have grown annually by 7% on average, from €325 million to €430 million. The company will continue to invest heavily in R&D projects in the future. Over the next few years, BASF also plans to spend on average €300 million annually on additional production capacities globally for its portfolio of agricultural solutions. “These investments mean that BASF can continue to support food availability in Asia Pacific and around the world more broadly,” said Markus Heldt, President of BASF’s Crop Protection division. “We are specifically investing in research, development and production in Asia Pacific as part of BASF’s globalization efforts, which will enhance our collaboration with growers in the region.”
The Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels (LSB), a group composed by the Chief Executive Officers of seven Leading European biofuel producers and European airlines, met the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels last week. The meeting was hosted by the ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee, chaired by Mrs Amalia Sartori, to discuss the positions of the EP ITRE Committee on the European Commission revision of the Renewable Energy Directive – RED. The positions expressed by Mr Alejo Vidal Quadras, the Rapporteur of the ITRE Committee, and reported in his draft ITRE Draft Opinion, were supported by the Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels.
The Leaders, whose chairman is Guido Ghisolfi, President of Mossi & Ghisolfi Group, headquartered in Tortona (Piedmont, Italy), sent a clear message to the Parliament members: “Second Generation Advanced Biofuel technologies are ready to compete with conventional biofuels, with companies keen to invest in commercial projects given appropriate conditions”.