The ROICA Division Senior Executive Manager: Takehiro Kamiyama of Asahi Kasei Corporation today announced that ROICA™ has started providing low-CFP ROICA™ using the Mass Balance approach as a part of its initiative to reduce its carbon footprint (CFP).
While sustainability initiatives are ongoing around the world, many different efforts are spreading across the fiber industry, such as eco-friendly product development and production review. The ROICA Division is among the first to start developing eco-friendly stretch fibers in terms of, for example, pre-consumer recycled and degradability stretch yarns.
Under the current global warming and environmental destruction, ROICA™ must increase its commitment to sustainability. Based on this, a new step is being taken by introducing the Mass Balance approach for raw materials and electricity, starting efforts to offer products that have smaller CFPs.
2. Mass Balance approach and its development for ROICA™
This initiative enables the division to retain the value of ROICA™ while introducing the mass balance approach for both tetrahydrofuran (THF), the main raw material for ROICA™, and the renewable energy used (renewable energy certificate-based electricity) to significantly reduce the CFP (by approx. 50%).1 The CFP is reduced by approximately 25% by applying BASF's biomass-based THF alone. This involves using the biomass balance approach that BASF2 introduced as a new way to use renewable raw materials. The initiative has recently been made possible in cooperation with BASF.
While ROICA™ extensively markets functional yarns, the mass balance approach makes allocation possible for many different products with a few products being exceptions, due to the drop in solution where it does not need any changes in the production process. Without any deterioration in quality, ROICA™ can be a replacement for existing customers' products. To customers, this also lowers the target in replacement, which is another advantage.
First, we will seek to expand the product with a focus on sports apparel while we also are positive to look into the whole textile business.
Under the mass balance approach, when a raw material with a specific property such as a biomass raw material is mixed with petrol-derived raw materials in the processing/distribution process between the raw materials and their transformation into a product, the amount equal to the amount of the raw material with that specific property can be allocated to the specific product. The products that have had that property allocated to them can be advertised as having a specific property.
The mass balance approach (material balance method) is drawing attention internationally as a way to encourage the use of eco-friendly raw materials. It does not require the installation of equipment and enables existing equipment to be used without changing manufacturing processes. For this reason, the mass balance approach can be considered advantageous because the investment it requires is smaller and because of the ease of its implementation.
1.The reduction percentage is calculated using the average CFP calculated for all ROICA™ product result in fiscal 2019 (calculated in accordance with ISO 14067: raw materials for petrol-derived raw materials and electric power from Japanese power companies) and the CFP value calculated using the mass balance approach using renewable energy certificates with some raw materials being biomass raw materials. The former is the denominator while the latter is numerator. The calculated value assumes the carbon footprint from the collection of raw materials to the shipment of products from our plant.
・The emission intensity (CO2 emissions per activity), the source of the calculated value, is cited from fiscal 2019 results for scope 1 (raw materials) and scope 2 (electric power and steam), and from IDEA ver 2.3 provided by the Sustainable Management Promotion Organization and information from some suppliers for category 1 of scope 3 (raw materials/one company).
・In accordance with ISO 14067, the calculated value deducts the CO2 absorbed by biomass during its growth.
・The calculated value is based on the currently available data and is not a guaranteed value. Please understand that the calculated value may change depending on, for example, the improvement or upgrade of a process or technology or the revision of raw materials data or related laws.
・Disclosing or leaking reduction effects to a third party without permission is prohibited. If you wish to disclose information, you must review it with us and conclude an agreement beforehand.
2. About BASF
BASF creates chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of its customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Its portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €87.3 billion in 2022. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the United States. Further information at https://www.basf.com/global/en.html .
ROICA™ (premium stretch fiber) is a registered trademark of Asahi Kasei.
Contact: Asahi Kasei Corporation, Life Innovation SBU, ROICA Division, NEXT 50 Project
Representative: Hiroaki Shinohe