Major Conference on Responsible Innovation Held to Mark Ingeo NatureWorks Earth Month

LONDON, April 24, 2007 – Leading European brands including a gardening product manufacturer, a bottled water company, a fashion label, a car manufacturer and a non-profit business association gathered here today to discuss and showcase their new, innovative and responsible products. Moderated by Jessica Price-Brown from Retail Week magazine, this was an event to celebrate Ingeo™ NatureWorks® Earth Month – April 22 to June 5 – organized by NatureWorks LLC.

NatureWorks LLC, whose innovative polymer is the base for a complete range of consumer products made from 100 renewable resources branded Ingeo fiber (textile products) and NatureWorks (plastic products and packaging) is a leading global voice on responsible innovation. As part of Ingeo NatureWorks Earth Month the company has organized a range of global activities to inform consumers about a new era in shopping.

Held at the National Magazine House in London’s Soho, the roundtable themed “When Responsible Innovation Comes to Life,” offered a glimpse into the vast array of products available today to consumers that can offer a new lifestyle experience in which sustainability, quality and style go hand-in-hand.

“Environmental issues have rocketed up the agenda in the retail sector in the last six months. For example Marks and Spencer is spending £200 million to become carbon neutral by 2012. Even politicians such as David Cameron have been seen sporting recycled trainers. The so called green consumer is not the guardian hippie reader of old and as such it is the challenge of business to realize responsible innovation as the way forward and bring about a lifestyle change for all consumers,” said Price-Brown, news editor of Retail Week.

“The time for change is now. We simply cannot continue to manufacture products – from water bottles to t-shirts to garden fabrics – in the same way.. Retailers and manufacturers need to get together to promote sustainable innovation. Inventors of environmentally-friendly products are immediately needed in every industrial sector,” said Mark Vergauwen, European business development manager, NatureWorks LLC.

Ingeo NatureWorks Earth Month is a global initiative designed to highlight how easily consumers can buy everyday products made from 100 percent renewable resources, products that are authentic, stylish, and high quality.

Representatives of Ingeo and NatureWorks brand partners and associated organizations that participated and described their products and what responsible innovation has meant to their consumers included:

  • Business for Social Responsibility: Kate Fish of BSR gave an overview of responsible innovation, what it has meant to its member companies and the strategies they’ve devised to bring their products to market.
  • NatureWorks LLC: Mark Vergauwen overviewed how the company has been the first to offer a family of commercially available low carbon footprint polymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources, rather than oil. With cost and performances that compete with petroleum based packaging materials and fibers., these are marketed under the brand name of NatureWorks polymer for plastics products and Ingeo fiber for textiles. At the moment these brands are present in more than 40,000 stores globally.
  • Belu: Reed Paget described how Belu has packaged its natural mineral water in the UK’s first compostable bottle, thanks to NatureWorks polymer. Belu is the first bottle to address climate change. It donates all its profits to clean water products around the world.
  • Easy Gardener: is a global manufacturer and supplier of gardening tools and products. It is the leading manufacturer and provider of weed control and landscape fabrics in the US. Dan Boxser described how, in a world first, Easy Gardener has created Weedblock® Natural – an environmentally-friendly, weed-stopping ground-sheet made with Ingeo™ fiber. This product is available in B&Q stores in UK and at Home Depot stores in Chicago and Los Angeles in the US.
  • Codice a Sbarre: Caterina Micolano described what it called a “socially and environmentally responsible fashion brand,” established in 2002 as a cooperative, with funding from the Italian government. Women in prisons produce clothing made with fabric using Ingeo fiber. Through this process they learn useful tailoring skills that can be used when they are released. The line will be distributed in UK starting July 2007.
  • Renault: the car manufacturer, outlined the way to manage environment and eco-innovation all through the vehicle life cycle. This includes the design phase, the production step with for example reduced packaging waste, the limitation of CO2 emission during the use of the car and at the end the recycling of the vehicle. Renault has shown its interest in biomaterials to preserve fossil resources and to use "CO2 neutral" materials.
About NatureWorks

NatureWorks LLC is a stand-alone company wholly owned by Cargill. Dedicated to meeting the world’s needs today without compromising the Earth’s ability to meet the needs of tomorrow,. NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available low carbon footprint polymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with cost and performance that compete with petroleum-based packaging materials and fibers. The company applies its unique technology to the processing of natural plant sugars to create a proprietary polylactide polymer, which is marketed under the NatureWorks® polymer and Ingeo™ fibers brand names.


Ingeo and the Ingeo logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NatureWorks LLC in the USA and other countries.

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