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Ingeo News: November 2021

Ingeo Receives GreenScreen Certified Platinum Level Certification

GreenScreen badges

We are proud to announce that Ingeo has received the GreenScreen Certified Standard Platinum level of certification by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and Clean Production Action. As the first materials company to achieve this certification, we’re also proud to assist in shifting markets away from PFAS, plus thousands of other chemicals of concern, to greener chemistry and safe biobased alternatives.

”At NatureWorks, our purpose is to invent safe and environmentally sustainable materials for use in everyday products. We are proud to be the first materials manufacturer to earn this certification and see Ingeo recognized not just as a material for high performance compostable food serviceware, but also as a preferred alternative to the materials that rely on PFAS chemicals for performance.” - Steve Davies, Vice President of Performance Packaging, NatureWorks. Read the Press Release.



Two Recent Events Consider the Results of Future Agriculture

This fall NatureWorks was invited to participate in several events focusing on the bioeconomy and the future contributions of U.S.-based agriculture. We highlight two of them here.

I. Bioeconomy Advancements
In Nebraska, home of our first manufacturing facility, Rich Altice, President & CEO of NatureWorks, participated in the Bioeconomy Advancements panel at Husker Harvest Days. The panel discussed how plant-based products are opening new markets for American agriculture, creating rural development opportunities, and advancing the growth of a circular bioeconomy. The forum was a good opportunity to share that industrial markets like ours are looking for efficient, 3rd party certified sustainably grown agricultural feedstocks in order to meet demand for plant-based products that meet global sustainability criteria.

For example, circular economy frameworks, like that from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, designed to tackle the problem of plastics and analyses like “Breaking the Plastic Wave” by The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ, are all specifying that we need to look to biobased materials made from responsibly sourced renewable feedstocks like agriculture to deliver solutions that have a low carbon footprint and more options for how we throw things away, like compostability.

It’s those frameworks and that sentiment around “responsibly sourced” that have spurred our customers, brandowners, and retailers to take deep interest in how to grow renewable feedstocks, according to sustainable and, increasingly, regenerative agricultural principles. Read more.


II. The Future of Agriculture
In September, Leah Ford, NatureWorks Sr. Marketing & Communications Manager, participated in the Dorsey & Whitney’s inaugural The Future of Agriculture roundtable, which featured USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as the keynote speaker. Secretary Vilsack’s remarks emphasized infrastructure needs to support farmers and labor policy. Following the Secretary’s speech, there was a symposium discussion with leaders in the food and agriculture industry to discuss their thoughts on what lies ahead in production agriculture with regard to farming, processing and distributing our food and bioproducts globally in a low carbon and sustainable manner.

In the symposium, Ford highlighted how the focus on infrastructure in support of agriculture should expand to include composting infrastructure. Compostable products destined for this infrastructure are indeed a quickly growing downstream market that makes use of agricultural feedstocks, but perhaps more importantly, compost infrastructure has positive impacts on climate change and soil health.

Growing access to composting makes it easier to keep food waste out of landfills where it generates methane. In fact, food breaking down in landfills is the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the US. Instead, food waste is diverted to composting where it contributes to a nutrient-rich soil amendment that improves both biodiversity and the soil’s ability to sequester more CO2. In turn, that compost can be used in agriculture to improve or maintain soil health in the future.



The Role of Life Sciences in Delivering Climate Neutrality

In a pre COP26 event by W@LifeSciences, NatureWorks’ Global Public Affairs Director, Mariagiovanna Vetere, joined the top all-female panel, “The Role of Life Sciences in Delivering Climate Neutrality” with other panelists from BASF, Lanzatech, Tetra Pak, and others. Vetere noted how we need policies focused on improving soil fertility. Good protection policies would not only be critical for food systems, but also as a way of sequestering carbon and fighting climate change.

“Our contribution to [fighting] climate change is clear; we help other companies to decarbonize their product using our polymer,” said Vetere. “We produce a material which is compostable, so we are mindful also of the importance of soil in general climate protection. Soil is a great contributor to the fight against climate change because it is able to sequester and keep carbon better than even plants, for instance.” Watch the video.



Communicating Circularity Credibly

NatureWorks’ EU Business Manager, Eamonn Tighe, recently presented, “Communication Circularity Credibly” which addresses how to effectively communicate on circularity and ensure that what is stated or claimed is, indeed, credible. This presentation was given at the Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress in September 2021. See this and other informative videos on our NatureWorks YouTube account.

Green Sports Day

On October 6th, our partners at Green Sports Alliance celebrated their annual Green Sports Day (#greensportsday) and highlighted some really great examples of partners contributing to sustainability practices within the world of sports. NatureWorks’ successful contribution in being a Sustainability Partner at the 2021 3M Open and integrating use of compostable cups and proper compost receptacles was highlighted as well as our welcome to professional golfer, Brendon Todd as our brand ambassador. We look forward to bringing more sustainability through zero waste efforts to golf and other sports in the future! 


MARKET UPDATES

3D Printing

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UMaine Researchers Receive Award for Ingeo-based Composite

Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Maine received a prestigious Award for Composites Excellence for research conducted in 3D printing a sustainable biocomposite foam for use in lightweight structural applications. The award, presented to the ORNL and UMaine team by the American Composites Manufacturers Association, recognizes outstanding achievement in innovation in green composites design. Read more.


Protopasta Introduces Recycled Ingeo PLA to Product Line

Our partners at Protopasta, recently unveiled their new Recycled PLA line made with recovered Ingeo. The line currently comes in 12 different colors and has been collected from their high-quality waste stream, which was originally intended for landfill. Each filament was fully compounded to ensure consistency throughout a batch. Read more.

Polymaker Announces New PolyLite PLA Pro

Longtime Ingeo partner, Polymaker, has announced their latest Ingeo-based 3D printing filament, PolyLite PLA Pro. This filament incorporates high rigidity and toughness, while being safe and environmentally-friendly to print. Given the strong response from the use of recyclable spools with PolyTerra™ PLA, Polymaker pledges to gradually integrate recyclable packaging for all their offerings. Read more.



NATUREWORKS & INDUSTRY NEWS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Plant Powered to Become Climate Positive - COP26 | November 10 at 10AM GMT | Online Screening
ekaterra, Unilever’s Tea Business, will be hosting an event during COP26 to discuss how the best of science and nature can inspire innovations for the planet, by utilizing the power of plants. From plant-based to compostable material in packaging, responsible businesses have a leadership role to play to reduce waste, restore biodiversity and natural ecosystems and reduce the impact of climate change. Tune in to learn about the role NatureWorks’ Ingeo has contributed to more sustainable tea bags.


AFCC Global Biobased Economy Conference | November 14 - 16 | Washington, DC
NatureWorks President and CEO, Rich Altice, will join the panel, “Bioplastics: Biobased Manufacturing Expansion, Applications, and End of Life” at 3:30PM on November 15th.




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Available Job Opportunities:

Senior Human Resources Business Partner | Blair, NE
The NatureWorks Site Senior Human Resources Business Partner role will assist in providing full service human resources support for our approximately 70-person manufacturing facility in Blair, Nebraska. Responsible for working in partnership to coach, support, influence and enable the team to effectively deliver people plans. Services include recruiting, onboarding, learning and development, policy communication and site collaboration for site initiatives. The position reports to the VP, Human Resources, and will be a member of the local leadership team.

Sales & Lead Development Specialist | Plymouth, MN
The Sales & Lead Development Specialist is responsible for lead inquiry management globally, developing lead qualification aligned with business strategies, sales to accounts segmented for inside sales, as well as including first point of contact for customer service. The overall goal is achievement of profitable business relationships, identifying new customers for existing businesses, new potential growth platform value chain participants to build a strong growth pipeline. This position is also accountable for achieving volume and revenue targets as part of our segmented sales strategies, building key customer relationships, and identifying business opportunities.

Keep up with ALL of our available job opportunities on our Careers page.