Industry giants in the UK are joining forces in the first-ever cross-sector collaboration aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Flue2Chem project aims to convert industrial waste gases into chemicals that can be used to manufacture superior and more sustainable consumer products.
A report published by the Nova Institute and Unilever in April 2021 estimated that demand for fossil-derived chemicals will more than double by 2050. As a result, renewable carbon production will need to increase by a factor of 15 if it is to successfully phase out the use of fossil carbon in consumer products.
The key to achieving this goal lies in finding alternatives.
To this end, 15 key industrial players representing the $89 billion UK sector including Unilever, Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), and BASF have signed an agreement for a two-year program committed to cutting carbon dioxide emissions from the manufacturing process.
Having secured $3.28 million of funding from Innovate UK, the project will focus on replacing fossil fuel stock with ‘captured’ carbon made from waste gases from foundation industries such as the production of metals, glass, paper, and chemicals.
Unilever’s Home Care business has already piloted products using captured carbon emissions such as OMO laundry detergent in China, Sunlight hand dish soap in South Africa, and Coral+ laundry detergent in Germany.
This collaboration is the first large-scale initiative to ensure that the UK reaches its net-zero targets.