Certified, Sustainable Agriculture

For the last three decades, we've been working to critically assess and ensure the sustainability of our feedstocks through accountability, continual learning, innovation, and leadership. We remain committed to feedstock diversification and to listening to the concerns of our agricultural communities and our partners in the supply chain.

ISCC PLUS, our 3rd party certification for sustainable feedstocks

At our first Ingeo manufacturing plant, located in Blair, NE, USA, we transform atmospheric carbon into Ingeo by utilizing the starch by-product of purpose grown industrial field corn called yellow dent #2. To ensure that the field corn we purchase adheres to our principles for sustainable feedstocks, these crops are certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification System (ISCC) to the ISCC PLUS standard of best practices in agricultural production. ISCC’s requirements fulfill the guidance set by the OECD and FAO in their publication "Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains" (2016).
Sustainable agriculture is a broad term that has come to represent more than any one crop or growing practice. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has said, ”Sustainable agriculture conserves land, water, and plant and animal genetic resources, and is environmentally non-degrading, technically appropriate, economically viable, and socially acceptable” (FAO, 1988). 

We are committed to these same tenants for the agriculture that is the foundation of our materials portfolio.

ISCC PLUS includes 86+ ‘sustainability requirements’ based on 6 principles

The ISCC PLUS certified crops are grown within 50 miles of the NatureWorks’ Blair, Nebraska, production facility, and involve more than 110 local farms. Every farm entering the ISCC program receives training in adhering to the ISCC PLUS certification’s sustainability requirements according to six principles:

Chain of custody ensures traceability

Chain of custody means that the total volume of Ingeo received by the “final user of the product” is traced back (and documented through a mass balance system) to the equivalent amount of certified, sustainable corn produced. Site specific audits and certificates ensure full traceability along the supply chain.

Manufacturing Ingeo does not require a GM feedstock

From our first kilograms of Ingeo produced and still today, all Ingeo biopolymer manufactured by NatureWorks is free of genetically modified (GM) materials as certified by the 3rd party, Eurofins Genescan, an industry leader in testing for GM material in products. While Ingeo does not contain any genetic material, and does not require genetically engineered feedstocks, NatureWorks is sensitive to market concerns around GM feedstocks. That is why we chose to work with ISCC and have them certify that all aspects of sustainable agriculture are met for the field corn that we use to supply our manufacturing facility in Blair, Nebraska and provide an option for 3rd party certified non-GM feedstocks.

Our manufacturing facility in Thailand will use locally grown sugarcane, which is a non-genetically modified crop, as a feedstock. Because we do not need a specific agricultural source of sugar to manufacture Ingeo, both of our manufacturing sites will produce the same portfolio of Ingeo PLA resin grades.

NatureWorks also provides an optional 3rd party audited and certified program with ISCC called ISCC PLUS Non-GMO for Technical Markets for partners looking to support non-GM feedstock utilizing a mass balance system.

Our commitment to renewable, sustainable feedstocks in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

On October 29, 2018, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced that NatureWorks, along with other global brandowners and manufacturers, signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. As a signatory, NatureWorks committed to the following:

• By 2019, 60 percent of the company’s feedstock will be certified as sustainably and responsibly managed via ISCC PLUS.
• By 2020, 100 percent of feedstock will be certified as sustainably and responsibly managed via ISCC PLUS.
• By 2025, 100 percent of new feedstocks for additional manufacturing capacity will be certified as sustainably and responsibly managed via an independent third-party administered program.

Ingeo in the Circular Economy

Certification Documents & Brochures