Investments areas in end product manufactures, processing enablers and sustainable polymer building blocks.
The complete value chain of any chemical application from raw material to end product and the product’s afterlife is a lengthy and complex chain of enrichment and processing steps. With positive impact and transition towards sustainable polymers as our ultimate goal, it is essential we invest in various aspects of the overall solution space to realize this.
Simply put, we balance our investments across geographies, markets, technologies and of course across the different steps of the chemical supply chain(s). We do this by focusing on those applications that drive sustainability, on those polymer processing companies that can be turned into sustainable chemistry production units and naturally also on different new types of Chemistry. The latter includes hybrid chemistries, drop in of bio-based feedstocks and chemical recycling capabilities.
We distinguish the following investment clusters: 1) manufacturers of sustainable end products (applications), 2) sustainable processing enablers (distributors / suppliers of chemicals and materials to manufacturers of end products), and 3) novel chemistries (the development and production of base chemicals and materials) as our investment clusters. Our main focus will be on existing companies, but we do not exclude start-ups and scale-ups.
In past decades, our quality of life has improved in many ways through the development of new chemicals and materials. However, single use consumable plastics are not sustainable, and many polymers are going into products that don't necessarily promote sustainability. We believe that multifold solutions are needed to address this. Changes in behavior, such as limiting use of plastic shopping bags, need to go hand in hand with design and (re)use of smart materials. Much room for improvement exists in how end products are made. We are actively seeking application domains that foster sustainability. This can range from using materials to help convert waste streams into recycled or upcycled durable products, to applications such as insulation, noise and vibration dampening and emergency shelters.
We will connect our investments into manufacturers and services in end markets upward in the value chain to key processing assets. In this way, we can help midstream and upstream base chemical producers and processors with piloting new developments or bringing new solutions to the market. Also, we typically upcycle the value of chemical companies by transforming (part of) their product portfolios to sustainable chemistry-led processes. To that end, we are using a tool that informs us on the contribution the products of our investees to sustainability, considering their environmental manufacturing footprint and how their applications bring benefits or face challenges in a market perspective.
Sustainable Polymer Building Blocks
A crucial part of converting the chemical industry or at least inspiring the transition to sustainable polymers is the early (but not too early) involvement in new chemistries. This can be the hybrid or drop-in introduction of bio-based feedstock, grafting or copolymerization of more sustainable chemical formulations, use of recyclate or revisiting once standard and uncontested principles. With the investments in end markets and processing assets we can furthermore accelerate trials and ideally market launch of these new formulations.
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