Ten years ago, when Braskem launched its biobased I’m Green polyethylene into the market, the company became at a stroke the largest producer of biobased resin in the world.
2010 saw the inauguration of Braskem’s green ethylene plant at Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, allowing the production at industrial scale of the green PE: an achievement resulting from years of research into the development of sustainable products. Today, Braskem has an annual production capacity of 200,000 tons of the material.
That achievement has now earned recognition as one of the most transformational cases in the category of industry and energy in sustainable development in Brazil.
At the recent ‘Big Push for Sustainability webinar’, organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Global Compact Network Brazil, it was announced that Braskem’s green PE would be included in an online repository containing over 60 case studies or initiatives for sustainable development in Brazil. The aim is to leverage national and foreign investments to create a ‘Big Push’ in economic growth, job creation, income generation, reduction in inequality and structural gaps and promotion of environmental sustainability.
According to Carlos Mussi, Director of the ECLAC Office in Brazil, the cases compiled in their repository on the Big Push for Sustainability in Brazil are clear examples of investments with the capacity to deliver social, economic and environmental results in line with a sustainable recovery strategy for the country.
ECLAC is putting together a renewed proposal, based on the Big Push for Sustainability, said Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena.
“Many people are talking about the new normality, but we do not want to return to where we were before, we want a better future. We believe that the big push for sustainability can be the guiding axis of a strategy for a sustainable way out of the current crisis, by contributing to forging a development pattern and becoming the driver of a virtuous development cycle. To achieve this, it is necessary to coordinate and articulate policies and actors,” she explained.
“Green, inclusive and holistic. That is the recovery model that Brazil needs for the new normal to usher in a sustainable country,” added Carlo Pereira, executive director of the Global Compact in Brazil.
Braskem would agree. During the webinar, Mateus Schreiner Garcez Lopes, head of Innovation in Renewable Technologies at Braskem, presented the case study ‘Green Polymers: technology for fostering sustainable development’ in which, among other things, he called for the public and private sector to rethink their consumption patterns.
“The world faces urgent issues that put human existence at risk, such as global warming and the unconstrained use of natural resources,” he said. “We believe in the potential of the circular economy to advance sustainability, and biobased plastic is one of our deliveries towards this end. The UN initiative is an important recognition of the journey we are constructing, which reinforces that we are on the right track.”
He also highlighted Braskem’s recent move to expand its I’m green portfolio, which now comprises an entire line of products for the circular economy, including renewable resins and solutions made from recycled plastics.
The company also continues to work with universities and research centres on the development of viable chemical recycling technologies as a complement to mechanical recycling.
Braskem, a petrochemical major based in Brazil, is a significant voice in the industry. The company operates 41 industrial units in Brazil, United States, Mexico and Germany, generating net revenue of R$52.3 billion (€9 billion). The company exports its products to clients in over 100 countries.