April / May 2011






























































































Businesses are increasingly seeing sustainability as a precompetitive issue
Global companies must produce more with less and collaboration is key to achieving this

• Smart companies see the importance of collaboration

Businesses are working together to ensure that natural resources are available for generations to come. Photograph: Alamy

The Oromo of Ethiopia have a saying: "You can't wake a person who's pretending to sleep." Recent reports tell us we are consuming natural resources at a rate faster than the Earth is replenishing them. The data shows we are currently consuming the equivalent of 1.5 planets to support human activities.

For bankers, this is equivalent to living on the principle; for farmers, it is like eating your seed. We are quite literally eating the planet.

Another recent scientific study shows that we're even dipping into areas that were previously considered untouchable to meet a growing global appetite. Indeed, the study points out that since 1900, 89 areas, previously designated as "protected areas" have seen that status relaxed or even removed for various reasons, but centred on access to and use of natural resources.

And this is now. By 2050, UN experts agree there will be three billion more people on the planet, each with an average of 2.9 times more income, consuming twice as much. These trends illustrate a future without enough food and raw materials to meet growing demand.

Jason Clay is senior vice president of market transformation at WWF

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To accelerate the growth of bio-based polylactic acid in packaging
Recent developments of Dupont include the adoption of DuPont™ Biomax® Strong 120 to help accelerate the growth of bio-based polylactic acid (PLA) polymers in packaging. Biomax® Strong 120 is a copolymer designed to modify Polylactic Acid (PLA) for improved toughness properties.

According to DuPont research into new materials and opportunities for sustainable packaging, the advanced polymer modifier Biomax® Strong 120 can help overcome the limitations that hold back the widespread use of bio-based polylactic acid (PLA) in packaging. As well as delivering significant toughening effects in brittle PLA materials, the modifier also reduces film noise and cuts power consumption while increasing thermal stability during extrusion.

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Incineration - The burning question
Written by Sterling Anthony, CPP

What stance should the packaging community take on incineration?

Waste-to-energy (WtE) incineration is a hot topic in the sustainability debate, inflaming passions on both sides and too often producing more heat than illumination. The packaging community (suppliers and users) seems to want to stay above the fray, content to publicly embrace the less controversial alternatives: recycling, reduction, and reuse (the 3Rs). This arms-length approach is ill-advised, given that packaging is a component of municipal solid waste (MSW) and that there's a nationwide network of incinerators that burn MSW to produce energy. So as long as there are incinerators burning MSW, packaging will be judged in relation to the process. If the packaging community doesn't define its stance, it'll have its stance defined for it, and it may not like the definition.

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Industrial Biotechnology Turning Process Engineering into Profits
The promise of producing chemicals from renewable feedstocks is becoming a reality thanks to advances in metabolic engineering and process development. Several biobased plastics are already being produced at commercial scale, and many biochemical firms are in the late stages of process development. The introduction of lower-cost, biobased versions of existing chemicals and promising new platform chemicals could help the ag-rich U.S. stay competitive in the global marketplace.

Executives expect chemicals produced via bioprocesses to eventually replace at least 15% of the current chemical production base, although levels of penetration and timelines vary greatly. The
fact that many bioprocesses are already cheaper than equivalent
petroleum-based production .....

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Metabolix grasping for profits in renewable plastics
NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) - Metabolix Inc (MBLX.O) is betting biodegradable beach toys and agricultural mulch films will help it revolutionize the plastics industry, though the company's weak financial history is starting to try Wall Street's patience.
Metabolix uses polyhydroxyalkanoate chemicals, or PHAs, to make plastics that decompose naturally. PHAs are found in plant cells and are eaten by bacteria.
Rather than clogging a landfill, a plastic item made from PHAs will just become lunch for a microorganism, and you won't have to worry about Flipper choking on that toy shovel your kid accidentally left at the beach.

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Unilever Leads Sustainability Rankings

Unilever has topped rankings of the companies most committed to sustainability, in a poll carried out by consultants SustainAbility and researchers GlobeScan.

The poll asked 559 qualified sustainability experts from business, government, non-profits and academia to name large companies that are “committed to sustainable development, seeing strategic advantage in pursuing policies and actions which go beyond the requirements of environmental and social legislation.”

Unilever was chosen by 15 percent of respondents, followed by .......

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USDA Awards NatureWorks First Certified Biobased Product Label for Plastics

Ingeo™ resins USDA certified 100 percent biobased carbon content

MINNETONKA, Minn., April 1, 2011 -- Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that NatureWorks is one of the first 11 companies approved to use USDA’s new product label on its certified bio-based Ingeo products under the department’s BioPreferred program. The announcement was made at a bio-based product meeting held in Glenwillow, Ohio.

NatureWorks’ Ingeo biopolymer – made from plants not oil – is the market-leading material among a new generation of fibers and plastics that provide low-carbon-footprint products. With the BioPreferred label, Ingeo resins are now USDA certified as containing 100 percent biobased carbon content.

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PepsiCo Develops World's First 100 Percent Plant-Based, Renewably Sourced PET Bottle
PURCHASE, N.Y., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Building upon its heritage as an innovator and leader in environmental sustainability, PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) today announced it has developed the world's first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based, fully renewable resources, enabling the company to manufacture a beverage container with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

PepsiCo's "green" bottle is 100 percent recyclable and far surpasses existing industry technologies. The bottle is made from bio-based raw materials, including

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Pro-Europe Spring Newsletter