Braskem is a Brazilian based petrochemical company with headquarters in Sao Paulo. Braksem is the largest petrochemical company in all the Americas based on production capacity and is ranked number give around the globe. Other countries that house commercial offices include the United States, the Netherlands, Singapore, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. Braksem is known for its sustainable chemistry to manage social, economic, and of course, environmental impacts that are generated by the company’s activities. As such, it has been involved in a number of clean technology highlights.
1 ) Green Polyethylene (Green PE). One of the things Braskem is known for is its Green Polyethylene, or Green PE. This is one of the primary sustainable products that are made from raw renewable materials. Put on the market in 2010, Green PE removes up to 2.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere for every one ton produced. This is the most widely used plastic especially in the cosmetic and automotive industry, as well as personal hygiene, packaging, and cleaning products. Now manufacturers of these products can be more sustainable with Green PE.
2 ) International Declaration for Cleaner Production. Braskem is the first Brazilian company to sign the International Declaration for Cleaner Production in 2004. As part of the United National Environment Program, companies that sign this declaration aim to instill clean production policies and sustainable consumption and production practices.
3 ) Carbon Disclosure Project. Braskem supports the Carbon Disclosure Project. Established in 2000, this initiative looks to collect and publish information regarding greenhouse gas emissions for over 2,500 companies and organizations in more than 60 different countries. The data is then used to help the companies and organization set viable reduction targets as well as make any performance improvements. The data is made public for investors, policymakers, public sector organizations, and the public. Braskem has been reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project since 2008.
4 ) Braskem Partners with FKuR for Green PE Compounding. In September of 2011, Braskem partnered with FKuR, a company that produces biopolymer resins for flexible and rigid packaging applications. Together these companies are looking to compound GreenPE into BioPE. Braskem selected to work with FKuR because of its unique experience compounding with polyolefins and bioplastics. With this agreement, there will be a number of customized GreenPE compounds to start being erected in Europe.
5 ) Braskem Creates New Project for Green Propane Industrial Unit. As part of the growing commitment made by Braskem to create products and solutions that aid in creating a low carbon economy, they have announced in mid-2011 the conclusion of a conceptual phase for a new project to create a green propane plant. This project will be scheduled to start operations in the latter half of 2013 and will have a minimum production capacity of 30,000 tons of green propane annually. This is part of Braskem’s biopolymer development strategy and the company remains steadfast in its commitment to increasing its renewable portfolio and facilitates the continued growth of green plastic adoption by clients to maximize environmental benefits.
6 ) Braskem to Receive Certification for Bio-Additive ETBE. Braskem, in 2009, joined in an agreement with Sojitz, a Japanese trading house for a three year contract for bio-additive ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE). Braskem is to sell 120,000 t/y of ETBE to Sojitz. ETBE is a gasoline additive that replaced MTBE, which is made from methanol and is very harmful to the environment.
7 ) Ethylene XXI Project. Braskem entered into its very first joint venture is Idesa, a Mexican group, creating the Ethylene XXI Project, which is the main abroad Greenfield project of Braskem. This is the biggest private investment made in Mexico by a Brazilian company. This project will receive $3 million in investments for the production of 1.05 million tons of polyethylene made from ethane per year. Ethane uses natural gas as a raw material. The main goal of the Ethylene XXI Project is to meet the growing need of the Mexican market which imports one million tons of polyethylene per year. This project is said to begin in 2015 and is located near a major highway, railroads, and pots, to assist in facilitating the distribution of the product. Not only will it create more sustainable ethylene, but it will also create 8,000 jobs for construction and then 3,500 direct and indirect jobs once the plants are up and running. Mexico was selected because of the large supply of raw materials, domestic market growth, qualified human capital, and close access to the United States Gulf Coast.
8 ) Making Headway on Greenhouse Gas Reductions. In June of 2010, Braskem reduced its total greenhouse gas emissions by 13.6 percent from 2007 to 2009. Braskem was able to do this by investing in a number of energy efficient practices, and improved and/or discontinued operations that had high greenhouse gas emissions levels. At the same time, Braskem was able to reduce all generated waste by 61 percent, effluent emissions by 40 percent, and energy and water consumption by 12 percent and 19 percent respectively.
9 ) Braskem Partners with Proctor & Gamble for Sugarcane PE. In August of 2010, Braskem partnered with major products manufacturer Proctor and Gamble to package their high-density polyethylene based on ethylene derived from sugarcane. Proctor and Gamble will create the new packaging which went online in 2011. This material created by Braskem will be used on selected for packaging for a number of Proctor and Gamble products, including Max Factor, Covergirl, and Pantene Pro-V brands.
10 ) Braskem Recycling GP Gives Back to City. Braskem’s Recycling GP Project was able to achieve a primary goal that the company had – mobilize the citizens of Sao Paulo, Brazil and have them dispose of all their plastic waste at designated collection stations. The end result after a November 2010 campaign was 13.5 tons of plastic waste collected which was used to create over 500 urban furniture pieces for the city, including trash cans and flower pots.
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at email@example.com