Report: Chemical Industry Embraces Sustainability

By Chemical Processing staff

Jan 21, 2013

The chemical industry is increasingly focusing on sustainability and utilizing more renewable materials, according to survey results released Jan. 21 by Genomatica and ICIS.

Of more than 700 ICIS Chemical Business readers responding to the survey, 71 percent said they have a sustainability strategy in place or under development. Almost half of producers (44 percent) said it was “very important” that they are a front-runner in sustainable chemicals, and 72 percent of producers said their customers have expressed interest in sustainable chemicals. Both producers and users are incorporating sustainability in their current practices and renewable materials have become increasingly important.

Most companies reported that they are taking a pragmatic approach and looking for drop-in or near-drop-in bio-based alternatives to petroleum products in an attempt to minimize development time and costs associated with reformulation and re-equipping production facilities.

"We've seen a big shift from several years ago, when increasing sustainability was viewed more as a cost than a benefit," said John Baker, global editor of ICIS, and organizer of this survey. "A majority of companies in the chemical industry have now incorporated sustainability into business practices and are looking to it as a way not only to reduce environmental impact but also to lower costs and meet customer requirements. These are all strong drivers toward more sustainable everyday products being made from renewable-based chemicals."

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