(Franklinton, N.C.) The WWF report Industrial biotechnology – more than green fuel in a dirty economy?, which has been published today, concludes that industrial biotechnology can provide dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and provide strong progress toward a green and sustainable economy. WWF calls for increased political backing for the industry to leverage the positive environmental effects. The findings are based on peer-reviewed research from Novozymes, the world leader in bioinnovation, as well as contributions from experts and WWF.
WWF, the world’s biggest environmental NGO, has calculated that industrial biotechnology could generate between 1 and 2.5 billion tons of greenhouse gas reductions per year by 2030, as well as build a new green economy that cleverly works with nature to meet human needs.
“WWF sees industrial biotech as an industry that can play a very significant role in the development of a new, green economy if developed in the right way. The world can’t afford to ignore this opportunity,” says John Kornerup Bang, Head of Globalization Programme for WWF.
Industrial biotechnology is currently used to produce hundreds of everyday products, including detergents, textiles, bread, wine, beer, and bioethanol. For example, the use of modern enzymatic detergents has reduced washing temperatures from 60 to 30 degrees Celsius, saving millions of tons of CO2. However, the potential of industrial biotechnology is much greater and includes a transformation of our economy. The future could hold a bio-based economy in which biorefineries outcompete petrochemicals by transforming waste products and other biomass into fermentable sugars to make energy as well as products that are currently made from oil. This could include everything from diapers to plastics.
Need for strong public policies
The report emphasizes that strong public policies must be in place to help realize the potential of industrial biotech and points out initiatives such as pollution costs charged to petrol-based materials, investment in advanced waste management technologies, and labeling systems for bio-based products. Novozymes agrees with WWF that strong public policies must be developed to challenge today’s conventions.
“In a few years sugar will be the new oil. Already today close to 200 biorefineries are operating in the US and yet we have only seen the beginning. Industrial biotechnology today is a sector with a number of pioneers who are demonstrating that this is technically feasible. However, to make the biobased economy into reality, they will require political backing. Novozymes is dedicated to helping ensure a radical shift in the way our societies work, and to reduce our dependency on oil,” says Steen Riisgaard, CEO of Novozymes.
Novozymes is the world leader in bioinnovation. Together with customers across a broad array of industries we create tomorrow’s industrial biosolutions, improving our customers’ business and the use of our planet’s resources. With over 700 products used in 130 countries, Novozymes’ bioinnovations improve industrial performance and safeguard the world’s resources by offering superior and sustainable solutions for tomorrow’s ever-changing marketplace. Novozymes’ natural solutions enhance and promote everything from removing trans fats in cooking, to advancing biofuels to power the world tomorrow. Our never-ending exploration of nature’s potential is evidenced by over 6,000 patents, showing what is possible when nature and technology join forces. Our 5,000+ employees working in research, production, and sales around the world are committed to shaping business today and our world tomorrow. Novozymes is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen A/S (NZYM B). Read more at www.novozymes.com.