AkzoNobel has won this year's European Responsible Care award, just weeks after being ranked top of the Chemicals supersector in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Awarded by the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), the latest honor recognizes the introduction of new technology which is helping to revolutionize the leather and protein industries.
Working with Spanish partner GRIT, AkzoNobel's Industrial Chemicals business developed DeMythe®LDD technology based on dimethylether (DME). When used to remove water and grease from animal skins - which are important for the manufacture of leather goods and various foods - it makes the process far more sustainable and less harmful to health than more conventional methods.
"This technology really emphasizes what we mean by Tomorrow's Answers Today," explained Werner Fuhrmann, member of AkzoNobel's Executive Committee responsible for Specialty Chemicals. "Innovation needs to drive change and by adopting this new technology the leather and protein processing industries will become more sustainable, which has to be good for the future needs of our customers, as well as the planet."
The independent jury called the project a wonderful example of the type of sustainable solutions the chemical industry can offer to society. The many advantages of the new technology which contributed to that assessment include less energy, water and chemical use than traditional degreasing methods, while less wastewater is also produced.
It's the second honor to be bestowed on the company's DeMythe®LDD technology, following the 2012 Responsible Care award presented earlier this year by the Association of the Dutch Chemicals Industry (VNCI).