Putting our energy into a low-carbon economy

At DSM we started out life over 100 years ago making our living from coal. Now we’re helping the world to live without it. For us, the arguments over how and why we’re in the grip of climate change are old news. We need to stop using fossils, transition to a low-carbon economy, and - based on the latest data from sustainability leaders like the Carbon Project and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - we need to do it fast. So at DSM that’s exactly what our solutions and innovations are helping to achieve…

Most vehicles on the road today still rely on combustion engines. Biofuels can help reduce their emissions and mitigate climate change. Through our partnership with the industry leading ethanol producer POET, we are leading the effort to scale up cellulosic ethanol to reduce carbon emissions by 85-95% versus gasoline. Our unique fermentation technology can produce biofuel from agricultural waste like corn stover and turn it into cellulosic bio-ethanol (an increasingly viable alternative to grain-based ethanol). Its potential impact? Collectively, cars and trucks account for nearly 20% of all US emissions, emitting around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases for every gallon of gas…

Our family of innovations in solar materials and technology are helping the solar industry achieve the holy grail of boosting power gain from photovoltaic solar modules and industrial solar parks by lowering what’s known as the Levelized Cost of Energy. Our first breakthrough was an Anti-Reflective coating for solar glass that squeezes out an all-important 3% power gain compared to non-treated equivalents. Now, our materials innovation is being used in 100% recyclable backsheets for solar panels to boost power gain even further - while reducing carbon footprint by 30% compared to conventional backsheets. The ultimate goal: Making affordable solar energy a reality for all.

Today, our engineering plastics can be found in some 90% of all the world’s cars - from braking systems and air bags (120 million units without a failure), to the chassis, engines, interiors, exteriors and steering & suspension systems. These high-performance materials improve performance, safety and durability. But importantly, they are also taking the carbon out of the car. Replacing just one metal automotive component (the air intake manifold) with a smart plastic like Stanyl Diablo® reduces CO2 emissions by 1 gram for every 10 km driven. And this huge environmental saving increases tenfold when manufacturers use Stanyl® for components to reduce engine friction - and thus heat - under the hood. 

As the world’s demand for protein continues to grow, so too does the amount of methane emitted by the cows we raise. That’s why the DSM team came up with Project Clean Cow to tackle this problem. Specifically, we created a feed supplement (called 3-NOP) that reduces methane emissions by up to 30% when added to dairy cattle feed - with no compromise on animal welfare, feed consumption or performance. When you consider that cows accounts for 4% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, that’s good news for us all. 

While our materials feature in most cars, you’ll also find them in 100% of the world’s mobile devices. Today, we’re working with many of the world’s leading electronics brands to help them not only boost the functionality of their products but to reduce their environmental footprint. Take ‘thinovation’ – the trend for creating smaller, lighter, greener and safer working parts in electronic devices with less harmful substances. Increasingly, our materials are used to create components like the tiny connectors that give mobile phones their incredible functionality. Our advanced plastics are also used in frames and enclosures, connectors, cables, wearable straps, and automotive electronics devices. When it comes to creating more sustainable electronics we’re powering it with plastic.

Climate & Energy SDGs

Our Climate & Energy products and solutions address two of the most important SDGs:

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