£73 Billion Sector Collaborates on ‘Flue2Chem’ to Transform UK Consumer Products Sustainability

£73 Billion Sector Collaborates on ‘Flue2Chem’ to Transform UK Consumer Products Sustainability

(IN BRIEF) Industry leaders from a £73 billion UK sector, including Unilever, BASF, and Tata Steel, have joined forces in the “Flue2Chem” program to transform the sustainability of the consumer products industry and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project, which received £2.68 million from Innovate UK, aims to convert industrial waste gases into sustainable materials for consumer products and contribute to the UK’s goal of reaching net zero by 2050. The program will demonstrate how the UK could reduce 15-20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The project partners, which include organizations from across the supply chain, will work together to develop a new value chain and the business model required to make the model work.

(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, 2-Feb-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Unilever (LON: ULVR), multinational consumer goods conglomerate, announces that 14 major players in the £73 billion UK consumer products industry¹, including Unilever, BASF, and Tata Steel, have joined forces to launch ‘Flue2Chem,’ a groundbreaking initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transforming the sustainability of the industry.

The program, funded with £2.68 million from Innovate UK, will focus on converting industrial waste gases into sustainable materials for consumer products, a crucial step towards achieving the UK’s net zero target by 2050. The cross-sector collaboration will work to reduce the use of fossil feedstocks extracted from coal, oil, and gas that are currently used to make a range of consumer goods.

The consortium, led by the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) and Unilever, will demonstrate how the UK can cut 15-20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually and explore economic incentives needed to make the project economically viable. The project will bring together partners from across the entire supply chain to achieve its goals.

Currently, the UK imports significant amounts of carbon feedstocks for use in the consumer goods industry. The ‘Flue2Chem’ project offers an opportunity for the industry to secure a domestic source of carbon and contribute to the country’s net zero targets. In addition to SCI and Unilever, other consortium partners include BASF, Tata Steel, UPM-Kymmene, Holmen, Croda, Johnson Matthey, The University of Sheffield, The University of Surrey, Carbon Clean, Procter & Gamble, Centre for Process Innovation, Confederation of Paper Industries, and Reckitt.

David Bott, SCI’s Head of Innovation said: “This is an excellent example of the power of collaborative working. It is an important step for the UK and SCI’s vision of furthering the application of chemistry and related sciences into industry for public benefit.

“The new business model will aim to reduce the need for imported fossil fuelmaterial. Instead, the consortium will build a new, more sustainable supply chain whilst also mitigating waste emissions. The group will develop methods for using carbon captured from waste streams of other industries and transform them into affordable raw materials for consumer products.”

Project lead Ian Howell, Unilever’s Home Care Science & Technology R&D Director and Chair of SCI’s SMCP Group explained: “This is a game-changing opportunity to accelerate action and rewire the chemicals value chain to be less reliant on fossil fuels. It’s a bold ambition and one that, at Unilever, we have been publicly calling for action over the last two years. No single company can do this alone and so to have the power of 15 manufacturers and academics marks a significant step forward not only for the UK, but globally too.”

Bruce Adderley, Innovate UK Challenge Director for the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge, added: “Underpinned by circular economy thinking, the Foundation Industries and their supply chain partners are bringing forward a range of new innovations as they move towards a sustainable competitive future. But these need to be demonstrated at scale if they are to be rapidly deployed in the UK and taken to international markets. That is why we are delighted to be able to support projects like Flue2Chem which have huge potential to address decarbonisation through multi-industry collaboration focused on resource and energy efficiency.”

For more information please contact Maxine Boersma on 07771 563373 or maxine.boersma@soci.org

¹Size of the UK Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Industry according to the Chemical Industries Association

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About SCI

Where science meets business: SCI is a unique global multidisciplinary network connecting scientists, business people, students and other key players involved in science-based innovation. SCI promotes innovation via its international network to advance the commercial application of science into industry for the benefit of society.

SCI works across crucial sectors as diverse as food and bio-renewables, water, environment, energy, materials and manufacturing, and health and wellbeing.

For more information, please visit www.soci.org

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SOURCE: Unilever


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