UN Construct for Sustainable Agriculture

Commitment to feedstock sustainability.

Sustainable agriculture is a broad term that has come to represent more than any one crop or growing practice. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has said, "Sustainable agriculture conserves land, water, and plant and animal genetic resources, and is environmentally non-degrading, technically appropriate, economically viable, and socially acceptable" (FAO, 1988). We are committed to these same tenants for the agriculture that is the foundation for our materials portfolio.

For the last three decades, NatureWorks has been working to critically assess the sustainability of our feedstocks through accountability, continual learning, innovation, and leadership. We remain committed to this journey, to feedstock diversification, and to listening to the concerns of the agricultural communities we participate in and our partners in the supply chain.

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Sustainable Agriculture must meet the needs of present and future generations for its products and services, while ensuring profitability and environmental health, and social and economic equity.

Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

Certified Sustainability for 100% of our Feedstock

From our first kilograms of Ingeo produced and still today, all Ingeo biopolymers manufactured by NatureWorks are free of genetically modified (GM) materials as certified by the 3rd party, Eurofins Genescan, an industry leader in testing for GM material in products. While Ingeo does not contain any genetic materials, and does not require genetically engineered feedstocks, NatureWorks is sensitive to market concerns around GM feedstocks. That is why we chose to work with ISCC and have them certify that all aspects of sustainable agriculture are met for the corn that we use to supply our manufacturing facility and provide an option for 3rd party certified non-GM feedstocks.
certified sustainability

We are a Presidential Green Chemistry Award Recipient

We received the Green Chemistry Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This award is for the promotion of environmental and economic benefits of novel green chemistry and is in recognition of chemical technologies that incorporate green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use. 

"Innovation and Benefits: The NatureWorks process makes biobased, compostable, and recyclable polylactic acid polymers using 20–50 percent less fossil fuel resources than comparable petroleum-based polymers…  synthesis eliminates organic solvents and other hazardous materials, completely recycles product and byproduct streams, and efficiently uses catalysts to reduce energy consumption and improve yield” EPA.gov 

Our Third Party Certifications Meet Global Standards and Ensure Accountability

ISCC PLUS is a 3rd party administered, comprehensive scheme certifying the sustainability of agricultural feedstocks used for biobased products including both the environmental and social aspects of agricultural production. ISCC provides practical solutions for fully traceable and sustainable agricultural practices. Site specific audits and certificates ensure full traceability along the supply chain.
ISCC's requirements fulfill the guidance set by the OECD and FAO in their publication, "Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains" (2016).

NatureWorks also provides an optional 3rd party audited and certified program with ISCC called ISCC PLUS Non-GMO for Technical Markets for partners looking to support non-GM feedstock utilizing a mass balance system.

Chain of Custody

Chain of custody means that the total volume of Ingeo received by the “final user of the product” is traced back (and documented through a mass balance system) to the equivalent amount of certified, sustainable corn produced. Site specific audits and certificates ensure full traceability along the supply chain.

Chain of custody

Our Commitment on a global scale in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

On October 29, 2018, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced that NatureWorks along with other global brandowners and manufactures, have signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. As a signatory, NatureWorks committed to the following in support of sustainable agriculture for bioplastics.

• By 2019, 60% of our feedstock will be certified as sustainably and responsibly managed via ISCC PLUS.

• By 2020, 100% of our feedstock will be certified as sustainably  and responsibly managed via ISCC PLUS.

• By 2025, we ensure that 100% of new feedstocks for additional manufacturing capacity will be certified as sustainably and responsibly managed via an independent 3rd party-administered program.