01 May 2012 00:02 [Source: ICIS news]
ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--AkzoNobel is looking for suppliers that can provide renewable alternatives to key feedstocks, a company executive said on Monday.
Peter Nieuwenhuizen, the company’s director of future-proof supply chains, spoke at the World Congress of Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing in Orlando.
A recent review of AkzoNobel’s renewables strategy addressed the growing supply of renewables and their increasing cost-competitiveness, he said.
“The [task] for us is to determine which among those will provide an alternative source of supply,” he said.
The strategic review also confirmed that improved sustainability remains an important customer objective and a driver of demand. Increasing the sustainability of AkzoNobel’s portfolio would strengthen the company’s position as “the leading coatings player,” said Nieuwenhuizen.
“We will make a proactive effort to lead the deployment of selected bio–based chemicals in our core markets and applications,” he noted.
Because 80% of the carbon footprint associated with AkzoNobel’s products is introduced upstream, the company will need the help of its suppliers.
“Very few of the renewable raw materials AkzoNobel relies upon are bought directly,” he explained. “Therefore we work with you [suppliers] to find ways of working in partnerships to help you feed that material through to our customers.”
The company will leverage its suppliers’ innovative feedstocks rather than develop its own, he continued, instead focusing on the development of cost-competitive, high-impact applications. “After looking at this area for five months, we believe we should not be the ones actually developing renewables ourselves.”
Among the drop-in materials on AkzoNobel’s wish list are butanol, adipic acid, epichlorohydrin, xylenes and acrylic acid, Nieuwenhuizen said. The company is also interested in alternatives to its bisphenol A-based epoxy resins.
“There are several options for collaboration and promotional agreements and JVs [joint ventures],” he added.
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