AkzoNobel, AB, and EY launch online tool to track bio-based materials

AkzoNobel, Advanced Biochemical (Thailand) (ABT) and EY have launched a new online tool as a pilot project aimed at using e-certification to track bio-based content along the value chain. 

Several chemicals can be made either from fossil feedstock or bio-based raw materials. However, it is cumbersome to verify how much of each has been used. This tool is aimed at solving this issue by verifying precisely how much of a product is made from bio-based raw materials.

This is expected to make it easier for producers and consumers to opt for more sustainable products.

AkzoNobel specialty chemicals global RD&I director Peter Nieuwenhuizen said: "Chemicals are the building blocks of essential products in our everyday lives.

"Yet despite the growing attention for sustainability, we still cannot easily track bio-based raw materials. This innovative approach will enable us to further pursue our goal of making the chemical industry more sustainable."

As bio-based raw materials are certified at the beginning of the supply chain, firms can transfer these details into an online platform, which then automatically keeps a monitor of the bio-based content of any products produced from them.

This method removes the need for separate, external certification further down the supply chain, providing producers quick insight into the bio-based content of their products. Epicerol will be the first chemical to be tracked across the supply chain.

Produced by ABT, bio-based epichlorohydrin (ECH) is already used in AkzoNobel’s sustainable epoxy coatings.

"This has enabled us to turn the complexity of the chemical industry into an easy and cost-effective tool for bio-based products."

ABT business manager Thibaud Caulier said: “This application will increase transparency and encourage companies to use more sustainable raw materials.

“Customers can demonstrate a positive impact by monitoring their consumption of Epicerol, showing that they are using the most sustainable epichlorohydrin on the market.”

After the pilot phase, the partner companies expect to expand the tool to other chemicals such as dimethylether, which is used as a propellant in deodorant cans.

This system offers enough flexibility so that it can be used by the industry across a wide range of products.

The firms stated that this platform offers transparency and reliability across the value chain through an audit trail.

EY senior manager for climate change and sustainability Roel Drost said: "The tool works like a virtual marketplace for the industry. Companies can sign up and exchange different types of bio-based material certificates, ranging from base ingredients to finished products.

"This has enabled us to turn the complexity of the chemical industry into an easy and cost-effective tool for bio-based products. Hence, we want to quickly make it available to other supply chains to get value across the industry."