Replacing fuels and materials that are mainly fossil-based with renewables is the most pressing challenge of our lifetime. Telko strives to be a partner and solutions provider in the forefront of the green transition of manufacturing, while ensuring the future of business.
While innovation and technology cooperation are an integral part of our operations, the goals need to be clear and agreed together when exploring sustainable options. Are we trying to reduce CO2 expenditure, generate less waste, meet regulations and certification criteria, or achieve a position where sustainability and affordability meet?
When determining if a material is right for clients’ needs, we analyse especially these criteria:
1) Does it reduces the CO2 footprint and/or is it able to avoid contributing to plastic waste.
2) Does the qualitative performance of the material match or exceed that of the fossil-based material it is replacing.
Telko is committed to growing our environmental handprint in carbon emission reduction throughout the entire value chain. Although further studying and increasing our understanding on how to measure our handprint in sustainability is required, we have already initiated numerous projects, expanded our portfolio and collaboration in driving sustainable innovation.
Emerging innovations in green manufacturing
Telko’s services and partnerships aim to go beyond material provision: we supplement a broad portfolio of sustainable solutions coupled with the vital technical expertise to get the most out of every application.
“Many material producers are presenting plastics based on renewables or recycled material, biocomposites and machinery with lower energy consumption” Telko’s Business Line Director Kimmo Liinamaa explains. “Certifications, like the ISCC plus for plastics are an important tool in measuring emission impact. On one hand, they push the industry to take the necessary steps forward. On the other, certifications help to ensure the whole value chain is up to standard and committed to uphold the promises of CO2 reductions of products.”
By capturing and reusing or storing CO2, manufacturers can effectively reduce their reported emissions. It’s not just about compliance but about leading a transformative change towards true sustainability. According to Liinamaa, “integrating carbon capture technologies to manufacturing processes can help in lowering emissions and enabling circular material flows”.
A new and exciting approach to the ongoing discussion about green plastics is Power-To-X (P2X) and the ability to produce for example carbon neutral methanol with it. Methanol is the primary material used in the production of polyacetal, or POM, and e-methanol is the carbon neutral equivalent of it.
In the simplest of terms, Power-To-X means electrification of production. The power, which is used to produce a product (X), comes from renewable sources like solar, hydro or wind. The method for extracting power with renewable energy is called electrolysis, where water is split into hydrogen and oxygen. The green hydrogen can be then used directly as a fuel, in many industrial processes or synthesized with carbon dioxide.
Captured CO2 emissions which would otherwise pollute the atmosphere can be used to synthesize e-methanol. This process turns a waste product into a valuable resource in production of low-carbon e-POM, demonstrating a closed-loop approach to manufacturing.
The Power-to-X process enables the manufacturing of a variety of products, and the output can be anything from hydrogen to polymers and e-fuels to chemicals like e-methanol. One of the main benefits is the resulting carbon neutrality or even CO2 negativity of the product. The beauty of P2X is that the end product specification is the same as conventional fossil-based products, which makes industrial implementation not only easy but also lowers the development cost significantly.
Power-to-X in practice: partnering with European Energy
Telko is partnering with a Danish forerunner in Power-to-X technology, European Energy, with the aim to find new and innovative applications for e-methanol in e-POM and chemicals manufacturing.
For plastics manufacturers, implementing e-POM based on e-methanol into their existing supply couldn’t be easier: no new technical solutions, molds or changes of machinery are needed. It is an environmentally friendly feedstock solution that is fitting for technical plastic products from industrial to even medical applications.
There is a cost to implementing new raw materials, however, we believe innovations like P2X allow us to mitigate the resulting development costs. Additionally, the subsequent CO2 reductions are significant and make for a higher value end product.
New technologies like Power-to-X are not something happening in the distant future but are being implemented already today into functioning production facilities. In the future when this technology grows in scale, it can start whole new areas of green manufacturing, create economic prosperity, and hasten the transition to fossil-free production.
Achieve measurably lower carbon footprint
Sustainability is the fundamental cornerstone upon which Telko’s business strategy is built, and reducing emission intensity plays a key part in that. Measuring, reporting and taking the actions necessary to achieve a positive change in emissions is increasingly critical to any business, as is compliance with environmental regulations and standards. At Telko we use the EcoVadis sustainability assessment as a primary tool to measure our development. In 2022 we reached EcoVadis Gold level in the ranking, which means that we now belong to the top 4 % in our industry.
While new technologies like P2X or carbon capture presents exciting opportunities for drastically reducing industrial carbon footprints, scaling this technology remains a challenge. Telko is committed to overcoming these hurdles, investing in research and partnerships to make these innovations a feasible reality.
Join us in leading the green manufacturing revolution. Contact us today to explore innovative solutions for your business.