As the push for sustainability grows, the mass balance approach continues to gain traction in the plastics and chemicals industry. This chain of custody model, designed to trace the flow of materials through a complex value chain, works by attributing a calculated share of bio-based or circular feedstocks on an equivalent basis to one or several outputs, enabling users to make credible claims.
The system can, however, be time-consuming to implement and maintain, requiring complex and secure bookkeeping to balance physical material and sustainable material credits according to a set of ISCC rules. This bookkeeping is needed to maintain certifications such as ISCC Plus which are used to allocate sustainability claims to products.
As all parties in the supply chain must be mass balance certified, a system-level approach is required for the mass balance model to function in an optimal fashion.
Circularise, a supply chain traceability provider founded in the Netherlands in 2016 has now developed and launched a new product called MassBalancer. This new software tool is designed to reduce complexity in the bookkeeping required for the mass balance chain of custody model in the chemicals sector by automating the administrative steps of this process.
One of the advantages of the mass balance method is the opportunity it offers companies within the plastic and chemicals sector to incrementally transition their operations to the use of sustainable feedstock, said Mesbah Sabur, co-founder of Circularise.
“Our aim is to eliminate the administrative hurdle of the bookkeeping process so that businesses can focus on realising the benefits of the mass balance approach.”
He pointed to a few of the tool’s features: “MassBalancer helps you to allocate incoming credits using pre-defined recipes and conversion factors without the risk of over-allocation…send credits and generate Sustainability Declarations in a few clicks.”
The software automates quarterly mass balance reporting and provides a clear overview of mass balance production. It manages everything in one place and speeds up the bookkeeping process by interconnecting actors within the supply chain, helping to create a standard format of reporting, and aiding the auditing process.
Moreover, digitising mass balance certifications is the first step towards digital product passports (DPPs). Once companies start connecting to each other and exchanging data, it will allow them to create a comprehensive DPP, to achieve greater supply chain visibility, and prepare for upcoming supply chain sustainability and due diligence regulations.
Throughout 2022, the tool was tested by 10 companies. On October 19th, Circularise will showcase its latest MassBalancer software at K 2022 (outside hall 4, stand 04.3) in Düsseldorf, Germany.