NatureWorks achieves greenhouse-gas-neutral polymer
Minnetonka, MN— NatureWorks
LLC declared that it will achieve a greenhouse-gas-neutral position
for NatureWorks® PLA, making it the first, commercially available
greenhouse-gas-neutral polymer in the industry.
The achievement of this milestone
will give the corn-derived polymer another competitive advantage
versus petroleum-based plastics, such as PET. It offers customers
in Europe, Asia and North America a meaningful way to help achieve
compliance with the Kyoto Protocol for reduction of greenhouse
NatureWorks will achieve the
greenhouse-gas-neutral position through the purchase of renewable
energy certificates (RECs), which serve as an offset to cover
all of the emissions from the energy used for the production of
NatureWorks PLA. The certificates ensure the production of renewable
energy in an amount equal to that of the non-renewable energy
used by NatureWorks LLC. The net result will be a 68 percent reduction
in fossil fuel use compared to traditional plastics.
As a partner in the Green Power
Market Development Group, NatureWorks researched a number of alternative
energy sources that would allow it to reduce its greenhouse gas
emissions. RECs provide for affordable, pollution-free electricity
that does not add to the depletion of natural resources such as
coal, oil or gas, or cause environmental damage through resource
extraction and transportation.
NatureWorks will be purchasing
renewable energy certificates from a variety of United States
Midwest projects - including wind, hydro and solar - in Nebraska,
Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The company will
purchase enough certificates to cover projected 2006 production
at their manufacturing plant, lactic acid plant in Blair, Nebraska,
as well as at its corporate offices in Minnetonka.