Tackling pollution in the chemical industry

Tackling pollution in the chemical industry

Petrochemicals are used in millions of products, from plastics, detergents, shampoos and makeup to industrial solvents, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, fertilizer and carpeting.

It’s the third biggest industry in the world, consuming more than 10% of fossil fuels produced globally and emits around 3.3 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

Over the next 20 years, oil company BP projects that this market will grow by 16% to 20%. This means this industry will account for nearly half of the growth in oil demand by 2050, ahead of trucks, aviation and shipping. Yet the chemicals sector has largely slipped under the radar when it comes to climate.

Products made from fossil fuels such as clothes, toys and paints have a carbon debt, because the carbon embedded within them will only be emitted in the future. To stop adding to this debt, chemicals and materials could be made with sources of carbon that are already above ground, such as plants.

However, there are also risks when using plants, when not carefully regulated they can lead to deforestation, compete with food sources, or increase the use of water or pesticides.

Leaf Resources pine chemicals offer a sustainable and scalable alternative to carbon intensive petroleum-based chemicals.

  • The trees are sourced from renewable FSC certified forests. This means for every tree used, another is planted.
  • Pine tree stumps are used as feedstock, which are considered a low value wood, too resinous and cumbersome to process for many traditional uses of wood such as building material or paper. Stump harvesting also improves the productivity of the land.
  • The factory is based close to the forests and port to minimise transportation.
  • The manufacturing process uses only low heat and natural solvents to extract the pine chemicals, no toxic chemicals are used.

We look forward to playing our part in transitioning the world to a fossil free future.