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Ingeo News: June 2021

NatureWorks Announces Key Milestones for Global Manufacturing Expansion with New 75kTa Facility for Producing Ingeo Biopolymer in Thailand

Completion of front-end engineering and recent project approval from the Thailand Board of Investment put the new fully integrated manufacturing complex on schedule to open in 2024

MINNETONKA, Minn., June 2, 2021NatureWorks, the world’s leading manufacturer of low-carbon PLA biopolymers made from renewable resources, announced today the completion of key milestones in their global manufacturing expansion plan for a new fully integrated Ingeo™️ PLA production facility that is anticipated to open in Thailand by 2024, subject to shareholder approval. When fully operational the new plant will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymer and will produce the full portfolio of Ingeo grades.

“We are pleased to share these significant accomplishments as part of our next phase for global manufacturing expansion,” said Rich Altice, President and CEO of NatureWorks. “The approval and support from the Thailand Board of Investment was a critical milestone on our path toward opening our new facility in Thailand. With both the recently announced capacity expansion at our facility in Blair, Nebraska and this new manufacturing complex, we can further address the global market demand for sustainable materials and continue leading the development of high-performance applications that capitalize on Ingeo’s unique material properties.”


Choosing a Sustainable, Safe, Performance-based Mask with Breathability

On June 2, the Green Sports Alliance hosted a webinar focused on how we can finally get “Back in the Game” playing, coaching, and watching sports, but, of course, safety comes first. Speakers Leah M. Ford from NatureWorks, Jane Foreman from Aries, and David Rousse from INDA weigh in on this informative session guiding viewers through current rules and regulations of masks, how to choose the best mask for their needs, and more sustainable options available.



PBPC Announces Doug Kunnemann as New Board Member

NatureWorks is very pleased to announce that Doug Kunnemann, our Business Development Leader for Performance Packaging, has been elected as the newest Board Member to the Plant Based Products Council (PBPC). Our Senior Digital Strategist, Virginia Thompson, recently sat down with Doug to discuss the new role and visions for the future of the PBPC.

Virginia: Doug! Congratulations on your new Board Member role at the PBPC! Can you tell me what you’re expecting to do in this new appointment?
Doug: Thank you; I’m so excited to contribute to the PBPC and its previous noted success. As a Board Member, I’ll provide input on key issues like reducing carbon impacts or using compostable packaging to divert food waste from landfills to compost, which I hope will benefit the PBPC, our members, and communities. Given my years of experience in business development, I think I bring a unique “voice of customer” aspect as part of my role as well. The PBPC has a contributing focus on sustainability and the circular economy, which also coincides with NatureWorks’ interests.

Virginia: That sounds like a good fit. Do you see some upcoming challenges for the PBPC at this point?
Doug: Well, I think we could work on building public recognition and connection a little more. The PBPC does great things for its members, but also for the public at large. I’d like to see us more publicly continue to educate, inform, and engage in issues that will bring value and benefits to our members and communities. I’d also like to see some outreach to communities who may be disadvantaged and ensure they have access to all the PBPC has to offer.

Virginia: Can you share with us some upcoming goals for the PBPC?
Doug: Sure. The PBPC goals include enhancing public awareness of the vast economic, environmental, and social benefits of plant-based products, and collaboration between business, government, and non-profits to incorporate the circular bioeconomy into consumer products. But we’re also looking to advocate for policies that encourage the transition to renewable products, such as the Renewable Chemicals Act. In addition, I am assessing other groups and associations with similar environmental, health, and social attributes for possible future partnerships and collaborations within the PBPC.

Read the PBPC press release here.



PARTNER UPDATES

Flexible Packaging

V-Shapes Introduces V-Green
V-Shapes partnered with NatureWorks to offer an innovative Ingeo single-dose packaging called V-Green. These sachets feature between 60% and 80% biobased carbon content as certified by TÜV Austria and a 3-star rating which enables the use of “OK BIOBASED” conformity mark on their V-Green products. Read more about V-Shapes’ story of sustainability, safety, and convenience in packaging here.

Fibers & Nonwovens

Aries Donates Masks for NC State Graduation
Thousands of innovative, breathable, Ingeo-based face masks were donated to the 6,700 graduates of NC State of by our partners at Aries. The material for the mask was created by Nonwovens Institute in partnership with NatureWorks and found that the unique spunbond material provides over 95% filtration efficiency, but has the comfort and breathability of a fabric face mask. And because the material is so durable, Aries’ face masks can be worn for 40 hours of wear without any reduction in filtration. Read the article.


NATUREWORKS & INDUSTRY NEWS

UPCOMING EVENTS

3M Open | July 22 - 25, 2021 | Blaine, Minnesota
The 3M Open now marks a new era in MN golf. As an official PGA TOUR stop and part of the FedEx Cup series, the 3M Open brings the world’s best golfers and elite competition to the Twin Cities. NatureWorks will be sponsoring this event and bringing some of our zero-waste event experience to the event goers.



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Senior Engineer (Engineer III) | Blair, NE
Within the Operations function, the Engineering group is accountable for identifying opportunities and creating value for NatureWorks and customers through multiple engineering disciplines. Work includes assessing gaps, identifying solutions and measurements, performing capital project development and implementation, determining and supporting best practices to the organization and customers and providing engineering training and support.

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