Pigs and detergents for a better environment

As the first Danish company ever, Novozymes attends Green Week in Brussels to put focus on how bioinnovation can play a role in solving environmental and climate issues.

Green Week is a yearly event hosted by the EU Commission. It brings together policy makers and other stakeholders within the field of environment policy from June 3 to 6.

According to Nickie Spile, President of Novozymes in Europe, Novozymes participates to raise awareness of Novozymes among policy makers in Europe and to put focus on how bioinnovation can play a role in solving environmental and climate issues in Europe and globally.

The EU Commission invaded by pigs

During Green Week the EU Commission will be invaded by little plastic pigs: at the commissioners' rostrum, in the restrooms, in the hallways, everywhere. The little pigs will be carrying a message saying “a pig is not just a pig."

And that’s exactly what Novozymes wants attendees to notice at Green Week. Just as detergent is not just detergent, leather is not just leather, and so on. There’s a huge difference: small invisible enzymes, which in different ways contribute to reducing the use of nature’s resources, CO2 emissions, harsh chemicals, and so on. The only way to know the difference is by carrying out life cycle assessments (LCAs), which can reveal the environmental effect of a product from "cradle to grave."

From life cycle assessments we know that if all pigs in Europe were fed a diet containing the enzyme xylanase, it would optimize their digestion to such a degree that they would lower the release of CO2 by 4,000,000 tons a year. Likewise, there is a potential of saving 12,000,000 tons of CO2 a year if all Europeans washed their clothes at 30 °C. This equals the yearly CO2 emissions from 3,000,000 cars.

Companies need to contribute

For consumers, policy makers, and industry to choose the right solutions to the global environmental and climate challenges Novozymes wants to make them aware that there is a need for scientific methods like life cycle assessments.

“The big question is how we break the curve of growth leading to more resource consumption and damage to our environment,” says Nickie Spile. “And here life cycle assessments can actually be used to show which solutions are the better ones.

“Traditionally Green Week is an event for policy makers, NGOs, and public institutions. By participating as a company we hope to put the spotlight on the importance of companies contributing to the development of the political solutions to the future challenges,” says Nickie Spile. “To do that effectively it’s important to be present in Brussels, both when decisions are made and at events like Green Week.”