Sustainability Statement

Polygreen's vision is to enhance sustainability in all aspects in which super absorbent polymers are used or can be used.

The awareness of sustainability and sustainable development is gaining momentum by both consumers, regulators, and corporates. The emphasis is on reduction of consumption, efficiency of manufacturing, and avoiding waste/contamination so as to minimize human ecological footprint. This activity is commonly described by corporates under  the framework of ESG and the UN SDG which defines goals like Climate Change, Global Warming, and Waste Management.

Polygreen's  mission is to provide global corporates with effective tools to meet their sustainability goals, and particularly so in the Hygiene and Agriculture sectors.

Implementing sustainability

Sustainability has many aspects which makes it complex to implement. Part of the complexity stems from involvement of both consumer perceptions and environmental reality. Moreover, iInherently, there is no clear path to sustainability.

To cope with the challenges of addressing sustainability we, in Polygreen, adopted two guidelines: to strictly follow ESG directives and to adhere to scientific evidence. 

PolyGreen follows ISO, GMP and LCA practices in its facilities, as further described below.

 
Image by Amber Martin

PolyGreen's Sustainability Activity in Hygiene

Provide eco component materials and eco product design

PolyGreen's Contribution to Sustainability in Agriculture

Polygreen's vision is to promote sustainability in all aspects in which superabsorbent polymers are used or can be used, and particularly so in agriculture. Polygreen's contribution to sustainability in agriculture is based on the properties of our environmental SAP (eSAP), properties that distinguish it from commonly used SAPs.

Food security

Global warming implies less and irregular precipitation. eSAP, helps plants cope with drought and adapt to precipitation fluctuations, thus enhancing crop yield and food security.

Desertification

Global warming expands desert boundaries which affects food security. One way of coping with desertification is reforestation. eSAP can significantly contribute to such efforts due to its ability to improve water utilization. 

Greenhouse
 

What is Sustainability?

Human activity effects the environment by resource depletion and contamination. Sustainability aims to avoid these effects so as to "leave a clean plate" for future generations. It is described as "meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs" (Brundtland, 1987).

The challenge of achieving sustainability

Part of the problem in attending to the long-term challenges of sustainability is the need to convey a sense of urgency to addressing long term effects. A nice way of resolving this problem is provided in The World Counts.

Another difficulty in addressing sustainability is its multi-faceted scope: energy, waste, transportation, climate and many more aspects. Sustainability touches on almost every discipline and science. 

The multitude of aspects of sustainability makes it difficult to identify the urgent issues. Planetary boundaries suggests priorities.

Image by Derek Oyen

Sustainability, Climate Change and Global Warming

Sustainability is often confused with climate change. But these are very different issues: the latter is one of the topics (possibly one of the most urgent topics) within the former. Another confusion is between climate change and global warming, again – global warming being probably the most urgent topic within climate change. 

Global Warming

Global warming is often presented in a gloomy and threatening manner. An optimistic approach to global warming is presented in the 2017 book Drawdown -- The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. This book was written by Paul Hawken, an "environmentalist, entrepreneur, author, economist, and activist" who has been described as one of the most effective and influential advocates in addressing global warming.

Delving a bit deeper into global warming, here are some topics that are less often discussed:

  • Global warming is affected by multiple positive feedback loops like glacier melting and desertification, which accelerate global warming. Some of the phenomena have irreversible tipping points.

  • The world underwent several climatic changes that are not related to human intervention, see Timeline of glaciation. That does not mean that the effects of recent greenhouse gases are not catastrophic.

  • The current geological epoch that we are in the midst of is called Holocene. It started some 11,000 years ago and was preceded by the ice age which started 2.5 million years ago. Historically there were relatively short warmer periods between long cold periods.

 

Sustainability in Polygreen Manufacturing (GMP)

The ecological footprint of the nabufacturing plant

Polygreen's factory operates under a zero-waste principle in which the raw materials in the factory are fully utilized in the polymer preparation process.

eSAP versus the common Sodium polyacrylate based solution

Polyacrylate is a common material used in the plastics industry, and most of the traditional super adsorbent polymer industry is based on this material. When polyacrylate decomposes, it breaks down into units of its building blocks, acrylic acids, or other acrylates. Despite their excellent absorbency, acrylates remain in the soil as a microplastic and change over time the chemical and physical properties of the ground and are therefore not suitable for long-term use.

Moreover, some industries use acrylamide which is found to be a carcinogen.

One of the components of Polygreen's eSAP is a biological material which enables easy spatial access to natural digestion that leads the degradation beyond the building blocks to the atomic level (O, C, H),

Another advantage of Polygreen's eSAP is its friendlyness to the consumer's health.

 

 Your Single-Use Plastic Ends Up Here

 

Plastic contamination

The world generates, annually, two billion tons of municipal solid waste. A lot of it is non-degradable plastic that is dumped in landfills or finds its way and to rivers and seas.

Waste Management is a large industry estimated at $35B in 2020 (exluding neighborhood pickup).  Waste is treated differently around the world but 79% of global waste ends up in landfill/open nature, (40% in OECD , 25% EU).

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The hierarchy of waste management 

To optimize use of resources and minimize contamination we use the Waste Mangement Hierarchy presented on the left. Broadly speaking it says that it is best to Reduce usage of any resources, it is good to Reuse products and then to Recycle them, and towards the end of their life we should Recover as much as possible, often what is recovered is energy. Whatever is left is dumped in Landfills. This is a diagramatic presentation of a sustainability evaluation process which considers multiple environmental aspects. 

In Polygreen, we measure our environmental impact using this EU Waste Management Hierarchy Goals (EU Directive 2008/98/EC), as detailed below;

Contamination of Hygiene Products

  • 657 billion Hygiene products were sold in 2018**!

  • Hygiene is the second largest residential waste segment (after packaging) and has no waste regulations.

  • The current price of $0.29 per diaper is subject to compensative “Plastic Toxicity Tax” of additional $0.56 per diaper (~200%)

  • Used hygiene products are energy nutral and sometime energy negative due to the large amount of liquids they contain.

PolyGreen hygiene products enhance sustainability 

The sustainability of our hygiene products is described below in terms of the EU Waste Management Hierarchy Goals (EU Directive 2008/98/EC).

  • Reduce – eSAP and our new assembly paradigm enable reduction and elimination of pulp fluff and reduction of plastic weight while retaining absorbance of disposable medical/hygiene products. 

  • Reuse – A reuse of multi-use diapers/feminine hygiene is not practical, marginal niche and green-wise questionable. 

  • Recycle/Composting - we make downstream recycling more feasible by reducing the variety of plastic in the hygiene products. We can also collaborate within hygiene-composting value chain.

  • Recover/Energy – Hygiene-oriented-plastic has 44% moisture (vs 13% moisture in packaging), hence, it has a low calorie/energy value in the intensive CAPEX/OPEX burning based solutions. 

  • Landfill  – eSAP undergoes bio-degradation.

Useful link http://tinyurl.com/y4m7felm

 

Climate Change

1. Water Efficiency

PolyGreen aim to confront climate change and primarily rain-fed agriculture & water  management challenge (80% of cultivated land) by offering Biodegradable Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) for Smart, Efficient & Regulation-Compliant Utilization of Water, Soil, Fertilizers & Pesticides

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PolyGreen's eSAP enables reducing the use of pulp in hygiene products. This can dramatically reduce tree cutting and processing (high water and energy usage) for hygiene purposes

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World Water Shortage Outlook

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What is ESG

ESG is an evaluation of a firm’s collective conscientiousness for social and environmental factors. It is typically a score that is compiled from data collected surrounding specific metrics related to intangible assets within the enterprise. 

What is SDG

UN Standard Developments Goals (SDG’s) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all".

The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. They are included in a UN Resolution called the 2030 Agenda or what is colloquially known as Agenda 2030.

PolyGreen activity targeting SDG goals are:

  • Eliminating disposable hygiene environmental hazard.

  • Feeding the world better with Plants “all-in-one” Super-Food-Platform.

  • Assisting babies and elderlies with Super Absorbent Wound dressing

 

We meet 9 out of the 17 UN’s SDG Goals

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What is LCA

Life cycle assessment or LCA (also known as life cycle analysis) is a methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life cycle of a commercial product, process, or service. For instance, in the case of a manufactured product, environmental impacts are assessed from raw material extraction and processing (cradle), through the product's manufacture, distribution and use, to the recycling or final disposal of the materials composing it (grave).[1][2]

LCA Study

An LCA study involves a thorough inventory of the energy and materials that are required across the industry value chain of the product, process or service, and calculates the corresponding emissions to the environment.[2] LCA thus assesses cumulative potential environmental impacts. The aim is to document and improve the overall environmental profile of the product.[2]

ISO

Widely recognized procedures for conducting LCAs are included in the 14000 series of environmental management standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in particular, in ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. ISO 14040 provides the 'principles and framework' of the Standard, while ISO 14044 provides an outline of the 'requirements and guidelines'. Generally, ISO 14040 was written for a managerial audience and ISO 14044 for practitioners.[3] As part of the introductory section of ISO 14040, LCA has been defined as the following:[4]

Consumer Perception-Driven “Sustainability”

Cotton based Hygiene is cotton Green? 

Electric car  - is electric car really better? See here

Biodegradability – Is biodegradability is that important in sustainability?

Sustainability Activity per Industry

  • Hygiene

  • Agrochemistry

  • Wound Dressing

  • Packaging

  • Crop Protection