Unilever and P&G join programme to convert industrial gasses into sustainable chemicals

By Julia Wray | Published: 7-Feb-2023

Flue2Chem is a cross-category, UK sector collaboration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Unilever and Procter & Gamble (P&G) are among the companies to collaborate on Flue2Chem, a UK cross-industry programme to address net zero targets.

The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) and 14 other organisations have secured funding for a two-year programme to convert industrial waste into sustainable materials for consumer products.

Flue2Chem aims to cut the UK’s 15-20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year to help the country hit its net zero target by 2050.

Consortium partners beyond SCI, Unilever and P&G include BASF, Croda, Reckitt, Tata Steel, UPM-Kymmene, Holmen, Johnson Matthey, The University of Sheffield, The University of Surrey, Carbon Clean, Centre for Process Innovation and Confederation of Paper Industries.

“This is an excellent example of the power of collaborative working,” said David Bott, SCI’s Head of Innovation.

“It is an important step for the UK and SCI’s vision of furthering the application of chemistry and related sciences into industry for public benefit.

“The new business model will aim to reduce the need for imported fossil fuel material.

“Instead, the consortium will build a new, more sustainable supply chain whilst also mitigating waste emissions.”

Bott added: “The group will develop methods for using carbon captured from waste streams of other industries and transform them into affordable raw materials for consumer products.”

Project lead Ian Howell, Unilever’s Home Care Science & Technology R&D Director and Chair of SCI’s SMCP Group, called Flue2Chem “a game-changing opportunity to accelerate action and rewire the chemicals value chain to be less reliant on fossil fuels”.

He added: “It’s a bold ambition and one that, at Unilever, we have been publicly calling for action over the last two years.

“No single company can do this alone and so to have the power of 15 manufacturers and academics marks a significant step forward not only for the UK, but globally too.”

The latest collaborative effort

Industry leaders from beauty and adjacent industries banding together for sustainable projects has become a welcome trend in recent years.

At the end of last year, Cosmetics Europe’s Commit for Our Planet initiative brought 27 companies together to address the cosmetics sector’s environmental footprint in Europe.

The day prior to Cosmetics Europe’s announcement, luxury goods firm Kering said it was teaming up with L’Occitane (also a Commit for Our Planet partner company) to launch a Climate Fund for Nature

Other notable coalitions include EcoBeautyScore Consortium, which launched an environmental impact system for cosmetics, and the British Beauty Council’s Sustainable Beauty Coalition. 

You may also like