Wilmington, DE—The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has recognized Ashland Global Holdings Inc. with a sustainability leadership award for environmental protection and circularity, according to a press release. The award was presented during the ACC Annual Meeting, which was held virtually due to COVID-19.

The ACC judging panel was comprised of external sustainability leaders from consumer products and nonprofit and consulting sectors. It chose winning initiatives based on a range of factors including the level of innovation the initiative demonstrated, the scope and reach of its impacts, and the extent to which it addresses priorities outlined in ACC’s Sustainability Principles and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, according to the press release.

Ashland’s Benecel MX modified cellulose won the award for sustainably addressing the growing popularity of plant-based foods and meat alternatives, the release says. The product brings a firm texture to protein products that are eaten warm, like vegetable burgers or other meat substitutes.

Additionally, the manufacturing site in Belgium has introduced initiatives that have helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve water. Benecel MX requires steam to make. Keith Silverman, SVP Global Operations, Quality and Environmental, Health and Safety, Ashland, explained in the release: “Instead of burning gas to generate steam on-site and adding an environmental burden, Ashland’s solvers worked with a neighboring facility that produces a large amount of surplus steam through its waste incinerator processes to create a steam network that has resulted in reduction of burned gas and fewer emissions to the environment.” The project will help Ashland meet one of the company’s 2020 environmental goals, a 10% greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
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Chris Jahn, President and CEO at ACC, said in the release: “The chemical industry plays a critical role in addressing and solving global sustainability challenges being faced by society. ACC is proud to recognize Ashland with the 2020 sustainability leadership award for their work to advance solutions to feed a growing global population, while also implementing innovative manufacturing processes that embrace circular practices.”

Guillermo Novo, Chairman and CEO at Ashland, added: “Sustainability provides opportunities for growth while underscoring the responsibility to change. At Ashland, our solvers rethink chemistry to innovate and solve complex challenges for customers with a conscious and proactive mindset for the planet. It is business imperative, and the right thing to do.”