22 Juli 2014

Biobased companies take a closer look at sustainability

BIO highlighted for its sustainable-supply-chain initiative to effort creations of environmentally friendlier consumers products

BIO and its member companies are constantly working together to help shift the world’s reliance on petroleum-based products to a reliance on biobased and greener products. In a recent piece by Chemical & Engineering News, Melody Bomgardner highlights BIO’s work with it’s member companies to create a more sustainable supply chain in effort create environmentally friendlier products for consumers. Here are some notable points from her piece:

“Thanks to the emerging bioeconomy, renewable substances made from plants can now be found in places as varied as car interiors, laundry detergent, and plastic bottles. But as the industry works feverishly to increase its scale, the marketing trope that ‘plant-based’ is equal to sustainable may lose luster, unless green claims can be backed by data.

“Consumer goods makers want to buy more biobased materials. Yet they point out that most life-cycle assessments for these chemicals, which purport to measure environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions, generally do not take into account the first part of the supply chain — the farm where raw materials are grown…

“The Biotechnology Industry Organization, a trade group that represents both pharmaceutical and industrial biotech firms, acknowledges that the sector ‘needs to firmly establish the industry’s sustainability credentials in a straightforward way.’

“And BIO member firms agree that building credibility requires that they use data on agricultural inputs such as sugar, starch, and vegetable oil.

“To help its member companies get started, BIO has launched a sustainable-supply-chain initiative and a voluntary policy outlining steps members can take to work with supply-chain partners, including major consumer brands. The policy will help members follow best practices and work with outside organizations to ensure they are on the path of increasing sustainability, says Paul Winters, a communications director at BIO…

“‘For each company to try to go it alone subjects them to the challenges of having to solve problems in the most efficient way, which may not necessarily be the best way,’ Winters says. Firms deploying new biobased technologies, he adds, are often financially constrained and find that merely staying in business can be a more immediate concern.”

BIO encourages you to to read Biobased Companies Take A Closer Look At Sustainability in its entirety to learn more about what the industry and its member companies are currently working on to strive towards a more sustainable bioeconomy.

Source: Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), press release, 2014-07-15.
Author: Catleen Kennedy


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