Sustainability Winners Announced At Informex

Informex Show Management announced the first five 'Profiles in Sustainability' winners at an award ceremony designed to honor companies that demonstrated their commitment to improving sustainability.

Sixteen companies submitted projects for consideration by the judging panel, which comprised representatives from the American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute, SOCMA and the trade media.

The innovations were judged on scope and extent, benefit to the environment, and economic feasibility. The five companies honored as Sustainability Innovators were DSM, IoLiTec, Lonza, Segetis and The Wercs. One of the most important factors in their success, according to the judges, was that all the projects were currently viable – not just good ideas in theory.

"The purpose of these awards is not necessarily to pick winners, but to encourage sustainability among all companies as it is critical to industry," says Informex/UBM Brand Director Jennifer Jessup. "The awards were born from a need to recognize that sustainable chemistry is not just a passing fad or a niche branch for the chemical industry. Informex is leading the way in bringing Green Chemistry to the forefront in traditional chemical forums."

DSM was recognized for its continuous drive to embed sustainability metrics into process design and manufacturing. For example, it is trying to bring down manufacturing costs using process intensification, which gives more effective scale-up of pharmaceutical chemicals, speeds up development and drives down material costs. An important part of this is its green chemistry toolbox, which includes scouting with enzymes, and microreactor technologies for commercial scale production.

IoLiTec uses a novel concept to supply ionic liquids – "Rent an Ionic Liquid". Ionic liquids can be alternative green solvents in catalysis, and also have potential in areas such as energy conversion and storage, lubricants and electrolytes. The rental scheme encourages customers to use ionic liquids and recycle them afterwards as only the liquid that is lost after use and recycling is paid for in full.

Since 2003, Lonza has been running a technology initiative to introduce sustainable practices, using continuous processing and microreactor technology. Its complete microreactor technology platform supports rapid process development and production under continuous flow. It is robust and scalable – projects have been run at multi-ton scale in a cGMP environment. The impact includes reduced waste and solvent use, reduced energy consumption and increase in productivity.

Segetis was awarded for its levulinic ketal monomers, which are used to develop chemical and plastic product lines. These monomers are built from levulinic acid, which is derived from cellulosic biomass and bio-based hydroxyl compounds. They offer a potential transformational change to industries that, historically, have derived products from petrochemicals. Their production uses no fermentation, giving lower capital costs than competing bioplatforms, and increasing speed to market.

The Wercs specializes in chemical compliance assessment and hazard communication software and services. Five years ago, it developed a systematic program, WERCSmart, to provide ingredient disclosure on products that contain chemicals for WalMart. Through a web-based portal, all its suppliers must input standard data for their products. This led to GreenWERCS, a tool that analyses individual product compositions and plots their potential impact on human health and the environment.

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