AkzoNobel turns to renewable oils for sustainable product development
Global chemicals manufacturer AkzoNobel is making strides towards replacing petroleum and palm oil-derived chemicals used in its products with renewable algal oils.
The firm, which produces paints, coatings and specialty chemicals for leading international brands, has expanded its existing joint development partnership with renewable oil and bio-products company Solazyme.
The new deal includes an agreement and funding for a joint product development programme to produce renewable 'Tailored' algal oils and, once these have been successfully developed, a multi-year agreement for an annual supply of up to 10,000 MTs. Work on product development is expected to begin immediately.
AkzoNobel's director of innovation and partnerships Peter Nieuwenhuizen stated that the partners had "now agreed on a joint target that should deliver a triple win - for AkzoNobel, for Solazyme as well as yielding more sustainable products for our customers and the world as part of our Planet Possible approach to sustainability."
Solazyme's chief executive Jonathan Wolfson added: "AkzoNobel has been a leader in sustainability for many years. This expanded partnership marks an important step forward in our relationship while underscoring the importance we place on developing sustainable, high performance products."
AkzoNobel first entered into the partnership with Solazyme in May 2013. The aim of the arrangement was to develop advanced tailored oils which could be used to either enhance the performance of, or replace, traditional petroleum-derived chemicals. Both AkzoNobel and Solazyme now believe that the algal oils currently being developed could replace petroleum and palm oil-derived oils, providing customers with more functional and sustainable products.
The arrangement is part of AkzoNobel's ongoing commitment to sustainability. In February 2013, the Netherlands-based company announced its intention to reduce carbon emissions by 25-30% per ton of product and to produce 20% of its revenue from its eco-premium products by 2020.
The company also achieved the highest ranking in the Materials industry group of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) in September 2013.
A large part of AkzoNobel's carbon footprint is directly related to the raw materials that it sources, so any move to bio-based products should enable the brand to reduce its carbon emissions more effectively.