An eco-profile is a useful tool for fully determining Ingeo's environmental impact. The profile adds up all of the inputs & outputs from our manufacturing process (like water to grow feedstocks, CO2 sequestered, energy to produce farming equipment, greenhouse gases emitted by our plant) from the field to factory gate...or from the corn being grown to boxes of Ingeo leaving our plant in Blair, NE. This calculation helps us determine Ingeo's impact on several indicators including greenhouse gas emissions and non-renewable energy use.

    • In February 2009, we announced the beginning of the next stage in our journey to greater environmental responsibility. By introducing a new proprietary manufacturing process, we were able to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 36% and our non-renewable energy use by 44% compared to where we were in 2005...and we won't stop there. We are always researching & investing in new technologies to improve the environmental footprint of Ingeo biopolymer.
    • Two key indicators for environmental footprint are greenhouse gases (GHG's) and non-renewable energy use. Measuring these two impacts and comparing data between Ingeo and traditional polymers (like PET & PS), provides a clear picture of the eco-advantage provided by Ingeo.
    • To guard against greenwashing, we have all our environmental data reviewed and published in well-known journals to provide transparency in our claims.


These slides share the journey of how we constantly strive to responsibly manufacture a revolutionary biopolymer and provide transparency about Ingeo's environmental footprint.

To read more about our journey see the major announcements we've made through the years in our press releases.


*CIT stands for "currently implemented technology"
Manufacturing Ingeo produces 60% less greenhouse gases than traditional polymers like PET & PS (1).


*CIT stands for "currently implemented technology"
Manufacturing Ingeo uses 50% less non-renewable energy (NREU) than traditional polymers like PET & PS (1).


  • 2010:
 The eco-profile for current Ingeo polylactide production. Industrial Biotechnology. Vol 6, No. 4. pgs 212-224, August 2010 (3MB .pdf)
  • 2007:
 The eco-profiles for current and near-future NatureWorks polylactide (PLA) production. Industrial Biotechnology. Vol 3, No. 1. pgs 58-81, Spring 2007 (450K .pdf)
  • 2003:
The Sustainability of NatureWorks™ Polylactide Polymers and Ingeo™ Polylactide Fibers: An Update of the Future, September 12-14, 2003 (13MB .pdf)
  • 2002:
Applications of Life Cycle Assessment to NatureWorks Polylactide (PLA) Production, November 2002 (560KB .pdf)

Since our first eco-profile was published in 2007, both our business and our manufacturing process have evolved. The information below should help you connect the nomenclature and scenarios we used in our 2007 publication to what we recently published in our 2010 eco-profile.

Scenario GHG
(kg CO2 eq/ kg Ingeo)
(MJ/kg Ingeo)
PLA5 = Ingeo 2005 2.023 50.18 We created an entirely new production system for polymers based on renewable resources. Ingeo 2005 is our benchmark for the cradle-to-pellet Ingeo production system in 2005.
PLA6 = Ingeo 2006 0.272 27.2 This scenario is no longer in use. Ingeo 2006 included the purchase of green power (via REC's) to replace fossil fuel-based electricity. We used REC's to make the lower carbon footprint associated with our 2009 manufacturing improvements immediately available to the market. Now with the new technology in place, we no longer bridge the gap with REC's. For customers who value further reductions in environmental footprint, green power purchases are still an option.
PLA/NG -0.68 16.6 This scenario is no longer in use because, similar to Ingeo 2006, it includes the purchase of green power in addition to a suite of manufacturing technology improvements. We have chosen to no longer purchase REC's, instead focusing on evolving our manufacturing process to be as eco-friendly as possible.
Ingeo 2009 CIT 1.30 42.19 Ingeo 2009 CIT includes the major change to our lactic acid production - the first of several improvements to how we make Ingeo.

*CIT stands for "currently implemented technology"
Ingeo Target 0.75 35.20 Going forward, we continue fundamental R&D support to bring further eco-profile improvements to market. Ingeo Target represents a package of planned manufacturing improvements includes using a new carbohydrate feedstock, process optimization and on-site renewable energy (wind, biomass, etc).

(1) Data for PET, PS, PP, PE & PVC greenhouse gas emissions and non-renewable energy use was acquired from European industry average data published by PlasticsEurope: Data for Ingeo comes from our published eco-profile.