DSM Engineering Materials


Tackling climate change with sustainable materials solutions

17 September 2020
  • Gerard Kwant Senior Scientist, Polymer Process Technology at DSM Engineering Plastics

Since 1896 it has been known that carbon dioxide increases the atmospheric temperature. The first articles about carbon dioxide and global warming were written by Swedish Chemist and Physicist Svante Arrhenius, and published in The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science. These articles focus on how and why carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere may affect Earth’s climate via the greenhouse effect.

Fast forward to now. … Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about sustainability and want to purchase products that have a positive impact on the environment. They also want more transparency over the total impact of ownership and throughout the entire value chain. It is time for raw material suppliers, plastics processers and brand owners to work together toward a more sustainable and circular world.

We realize the transition towards renewable energy is indeed challenging, yet DSM has set challenging ambitions on GHG emissions and a transition to renewable energy. We are focused on overcoming the  challenges of climate change, accumulating plastic waste and depleting fossil fuel resources.

We are not only looking into our own sustainability and energy transformation, but we are helping customers with this transformation too—our products can help reduce energy need or prolong the life of our customers’ products.


Five drivers of circularity

One important aspect of fighting climate change, accumulating plastic waste and depleting resources is circularity—unlocking more value from the limited resources available and securing the future availability of natural resources. DSM is focusing on these five circular drivers:

  • Reduce the use of critical resources
  • Replace scare, hazardous, and potentially harmful resources
  • Extend the lifetime of products
  • Design for recyclability
  • Recover waste streams

Currently, many polymer products are difficult to recycle directly because of their properties and mixes, not to mention national and regional legislation for recycling. For example, think about recycling a car—there is a big separation challenge when recycling its many parts. There are 30,000 parts in a modern car; 10,000 plastic parts, and great than 500 compounds. Therefore it is no surprise that a lot of polymers often end up in the environment.

Learn more about this topic

Watch the Tech Talk: Moving Towards a Sustainable Future in Materials and find out how DSM is ensuring that recycling is facilitated correctly and directly. Also learn how recycling can be done in a commercially attractive way, and how to leverage current and emerging technologies to increase the use of recycled and bio-based materials solutions.

To watch the Tech Talk click here.



Watch Tech Talk

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