Neste, a Finnish company specialized in oil refining and renewable solutions, and IKEA of Sweden have launched an initiative that is aimed at the development and production of renewable, bio-based materials. The partnership combines IKEA's commitment to reduce their dependence on virgin fossil based materials and Neste's proven expertise in renewable solutions.
Neste has patented and commercialized a vegetable oil refining process to produce renewable diesel fuel using vegetable oil and waste animal fats as feedstock; IKEA has repeatedly expressed the ambition to move away completely from virgin fossil-based plastic materials by the year 2020, in favor of recycled plastic or plastic produced from residue raw materials, such as biogas, sugar wastes and other renewable carbon sources. “Not using palm oil and its derivatives as feedstock", emphasized Lena Pripp-Kovac, Sustainability Manager, at IKEA of Sweden. The company will start with the plastic material used in its home furnishing products - about 40% of the total plastic volume used in the IKEA range.
Through the present initiative, the companies together propose to ‘take leadership in renewable, bio-based materials’, and have extended an invitation to others to join in, as well.
"We believe that working with Neste will open up an important pathway towards industrializing the production of plastics from more sustainable feedstock", said Camilla Rööst, Material and Innovation Development Manager, at IKEA.
Neste and IKEA will work with a number of partners in the supply chain, who will be provided with an opportunity to address the growing market for bio-based products while utilizing their existing production assets.
“IKEA and Neste, together with partners, can enable the production of bio-based plastics that are produced from waste and residues of the customers' preference and choice, can be produced with the existing production assets, are fully compatible with customers' needs, and are recyclable in the current plastics pool,” said Tuomas Hyyryläinen, SVP, Strategy and New Ventures at Neste.
Neste and IKEA's target is to produce the first proof-of-concept during 2017. Furthermore, the companies expect to widen their cooperation towards new, novel technologies and other opportunities.
Sustainability is nothing new for IKEA. Back in 1976, the company’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, called the waste of resources “one of the greatest diseases of mankind”. Today, at least 90% of the waste from IKEA’s stores and other operations is sorted for recycling. The long term goal is to send zero waste to landfill.