Slowing the rate of climate change and lowering environmental impacts through responsible consumption are key global sustainability goals that are helping to drive innovation. The enzyme industry plays a big part in this sustainability movement. Produced from renewable resources and readily biodegradable, enzymes represent one of the leading “Green Chemistry” technologies that drive sustainable solutions in consumer products and industrial processes. The use of enzymes results in many sustainability benefits that cannot be obtained with traditional chemical treatment. These benefits often include higher product quality and lower manufacturing cost, and less waste and reduced energy consumption. More traditional chemical treatments are not always easily controlled, and may create harsh conditions with the potential for undesirable side effects and/or waste disposal problems. Because enzymes are catalysts, the amount added to accomplish a reaction is relatively small, yet their sustainability benefits are significant. These environmental benefits have been documented extensively in scientific literature.
Member companies of the Enzyme Technical Association produce innovative enzymes products used in a variety of industries and consumer products that provide sustainability solutions. (See Enzymes- A Primer on Use and Benefits Today and Tomorrow). Here are a few examples of how we are applying enzyme technology to solve sustainability challenges.