Yarn & Fiber
CovationBio announces sustainability commitments and baselines with its first sustainability report
Based on a review of the company’s baseline performance in the four priority areas, the 2022 report offers a high-level assessment of CovationBio’s performance on safety, climate, circularity, and life on land, while laying the groundwork for actions that further support the company’s values and mission to make high-performance biobased materials accessible to all.
“Proactively releasing a sustainability report within the first seven months of establishing our new company is a huge milestone,” said CovationBio CEO Dr. Michael Saltzberg. “For more than 20 years and prior to the launch of CovationBio, we dedicated ourselves to the mission to become a world leader in providing sustainable and high-performance biomaterials solutions. Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. This report carefully and transparently explains our sustainability commitments and our company’s and products’ progress towards those commitments.”
CovationBio is dedicated to making meaningful, measurable change. The report details the company’s status and progress in its first seven months and identifies opportunities for it to strengthen its sustainability efforts. A high level overview of the report follows:
Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8)
In 2022, CovationBio maintained its focus on safety and completed its first seven months as a newly formed company with zero injuries requiring treatment beyond first aid among contract partners and CovationBio personnel. In the Process Safety Management (PSM) arena, the company had zero Tier I incidents. However, operations experienced Tier II events and environmental deviations. A cross-sectional group, which includes the Global Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) team, is determining the root cause and contributing factors to such incidents with the goals of eliminating recurrence and achieving the zero incidents.
Responsible Production and Consumption (SDG 12)
CovationBio’s three product lines contain biobased material derived from annually renewable plant resources. BIO-PDO™ products, Susterra® propanediol and Zemea® propanediol, are 100% biobased and Sorona® polymer is 37% biobased. A cross-functional team is currently investigating the state of technology to create Sorona® polymer entirely from annually renewable and/or recycled resources. CovationBio is also actively updating the life cycle assessment (LCA) for Sorona® polymer, Susterra® propanediol, and Zemea® propanediol.
As of the end of 2022, all CovationBio sites sourced their electricity from the grid, and the local mixes include between 6.5% and 13.7% renewables. Manufacturing locations rely on traditional fossil resources for process energy requirements. Planning is underway to move towards a higher fraction of renewable electricity.
Climate Action (SDG 13)
CovationBio is creating a plan to reduce site direct emissions and the footprint of purchased energy.
From self-assessments, CovationBio reported a total of 94 thousand metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually from their production facilities and purchased electricity. The company has already implemented work-streams investigating low to zero GHG options for electricity and steam at the site to significantly reduce site GHG emissions. CovationBio is also committed to working with organizations such as the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) to support defossilizaton of the materials industry.
Commitment to Life on Land (SDG 15)
To promote the sustainable use of land-based resources, CovationBio announced a partnership with Truterra™ in 2022. This farmer-led program was established to improve stewardship of agricultural land in the United States. CovationBio has 49,904 acres of land in the United States enrolled with Truterra™, which is the land required to grow 100% of the corn feedstock used to make Susterra® propanediol, Zemea® propanediol, and Sorona® polymer. Truterra supports farmers in the adoption of agricultural practices that can improve soil health, increase crop yields, and decrease fertilizer use, among other key regenerative agricultural methods.
“We want to continue to improve our own sustainability position and that of the entire materials industry as we grow our business. This led us to thoughtfully integrate our sustainability program with our business strategy,” said CovationBio Sustainability Leader Lauren Johnson. “Although CovationBio is a new name in the world, our team—our people, our products—has been in the business of more sustainable materials for almost 20 years. Our products are designed to be biobased, sustainable, and scalable. This means we at CovationBio are not new to biomaterials, we are reinvigorated.”