Green chemistry

Industry is transitioning to cleaner, greener ways. More than half of companies (51%) say they are committed to sustainability[1], yet it is clear that reconciling a lower environmental impact with economic success involves a lot of difficult choices — just 21% of companies have a clear roadmap for implementing their sustainability strategy.

A more sustainable enterprise is rooted in several pillars, including responsible production, financing, procurement and marketing. Buyers, marketers, and investors need the right information to navigate an ocean of potential projects, understand their benefits and constraints and stand by their consequences. As recently underlined by Mc Kinsey, “it is not easy buying green”.

At AFYREN, we believe that sharing knowledge and experience can contribute to a more sustainable future. In our blog posts, we seek to share expertise we have developed on our own journey toward a sustainable, circular business model.

[1] According to a survey by Sphera:


Green chemistry and biobased chemistry are not the same


The chemical industry is one of the largest industrial consumers of oil and gas, according to the IEA. For the last 30 years, researchers, big corporations and start-ups in the sector have worked to overcome this dependency on petroleum, reduce the use or generation of hazardous substances and create a cleaner or “greener” chemical industry.

But do you really know what you are buying into when you collaborate with a company that claims to do “green chemistry”? Understanding exactly what that term covers will help you ask the right questions to achieve your environmental objectives.

Green chemistry does not necessarily mean plant-based chemistry

One of the first mistakes is thinking that “green” automatically refers to “vegetal” or “plant”. Green chemistry principles do indeed call for using renewable resources but there is much more to it than replacing feedstock. […]

On the other side, plant-based chemistry, a key component of the bioeconomy, refers to the production of biobased products.

Green chemistry principles are a great source of guidance, but they are a general code of conduct and not a standardized terminology or a norm. Being a self-declared green chemistry player is not sufficient to guarantee the sustainability performance of a product or a company. On the product level, responsible marketing or procurement should be based on a precise environmental assessment (Life Cycle Analysis) and certified concepts or terminology.

 All biobased products are not created equally

If your objective is to replace fossil resources in your supply chain and purchase biobased raw materials (transition in procurement), it is very important to know the composition of what you are buying. The concept of a biobased product relies on precise terminology, norms and chemical analysis.

A biobased product is a product — material, intermediate, semi-finished or finished product — that is entirely or partially derived from biomass such as that produced from plants or animals. As biomass can have undergone physical, chemical or biological treatment, and that the term “bio-based product” refers to products wholly or partly derived from biomass, it is important to use analysis techniques to determine the amount of biobased components in a given product […].

At AFYREN, we make biobased products AND follow the 12 green chemistry principles.

We are committed to producing 100% biobased products from renewable raw materials through a fully dedicated process that follows the segregated biobased chemistry approach. The biobased content of our products has been verified using the norm EN 16785. […]

 If you know biogenic carbon, you know your biobased products

Biogenic carbon refers to all the carbon that is stored in, sequestered by and emitted through organic matter. The most common biogenic feedstocks include trees, plants and soil, which absorb carbon as a natural part of their life cycles, during photosynthesis.[…]



By contrast, non-biogenic carbons refer to the carbon stored in fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and gas. Fossil carbons had this Carbon-14 at the beginning of their fossilization, but have totally lost it through radiation over millions of years of fossilization.[…]

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