Originally published at basf.com. BASF ranked No. 12 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.
Saving CO2 together — this is the motto of the cooperation between the Uzin Utz Group, a full-range supplier of flooring systems, and the chemical company BASF SE. The driver for more climate protection and sustainability is BASF’s biomass balance approach. This is because the Ulm-based construction chemicals manufacturer purchases basic products from BASF that have been produced using renewable raw materials according to the certified biomass balance approach. In this way, the proportion of raw materials binders with biomass-based raw materials origin in the laying systems of Uzin Utz is successively increased, which preserves fossil resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By using renewables instead of fossil resources alone, CO2 emissions at Uzin Utz can be reduced by nearly 3,000 tons per year in terms of raw materials.
“In the future, we want to make an even greater contribution with regard to a transparent sustainable value chain and further expand our role model function in the industry,” explains Philipp Utz, Board Member of the Uzin Utz Group. In a continuous development process, the Ulm-based construction chemicals manufacturer is working closely with BASF to increase the proportion of raw materials of bio-based origin in its products to conserve precious and limited resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The “Planet” initiative: Uzin Utz improves ecological footprint
“Like our cooperation partner BASF, we have been combining economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility for years,” says Philipp Utz. The Planet field of action is firmly anchored in the 4-pillar model of the Uzin Utz Group’s corporate strategy PASSION 2025. The declared goal is to further develop resource-saving products and packaging, to use products with renewable raw materials and to improve the overall ecological footprint with climate-optimized processes. “We are taking a big step toward this goal by taking the biomass balance approach into account when purchasing our raw materials,” says Executive Board member Philipp Utz, explaining the cooperation with BASF.
This claim is also shared by the raw material supplier of the flooring systems manufacturer, BASF SE: “As an energy-intensive company, we have set ourselves the goal of being climate-neutral from the year 2050 and are currently implementing changes at numerous levels. We are pleased to have the Uzin Utz Group as a partner, sharing the same commitment towards a sustainable future, and with whom we can drive sustainable product solutions in the value chain for building materials,” explains Christoph Hansen, Head Dispersions & Resins Europe at BASF SE.
How the biomass balance approach works
In addition to the direct use of renewable raw materials, the new biomass balance approach is used for certain products. Here, BASF uses biomass instead of fossil resources right at the beginning of the value chain as a raw material for binders. This biomass is then mathematically allocated to the defined products of Uzin Utz. The fact that the mass balance is balanced is also certified by independent third parties. This process has the great advantage of using renewable raw materials in the existing production network – an efficient and affordable method. It will initially be used for adhesives for PVC design coverings, rubber, textile and linoleum coverings, and fixations. The product properties are fully retained.
The advantages at a glance
If biomass is used as a raw material in BASF’s production process instead of crude oil, the reduction in CO2 emissions for the basic products purchased from Uzin Utz amounts to almost 3,000 tons per year. This corresponds, for example, to the emissions produced by an airplane flying an average of 14 million kilometers. This corresponds to 18 times the distance to the moon and back. In terms of installation, everything remains the same: The product and the processing properties do not change. “By applying the biomass balance approach to binders, we preserve fossil resources and protect the climate – without compromising on quality,” explains Philipp Utz. “In addition to our efforts to reduce our direct CO2 emissions from operations, this makes a significant contribution to decisively reducing the CO2 footprint of our upstream processes.”