European Energy A/S, with leading healthcare company, Novo Nordisk A/S, and the world’s largest toy company, the LEGO Group, announced an agreement that will enable the two companies to replace some fossil-based plastic with lower-carbon alternatives in the future. Under this agreement, European Energy will produce methanol from renewable energy and biogenic CO2, commonly referred to as e-methanol, which will in turn be used for plastic production.
With this move, Novo Nordisk has taken a step into the area of substituting fossil-based plastic with lower-carbon sources to be used in medical devices such as insulin pens. The LEGO Group will explore the potential of using the e-methanol to make selected elements in its portfolio and expects to develop prototypes in the coming years with a view to commercialisation in the longer term.
Both companies are looking to invest in technologies that support knowledge sharing and help accelerate progress across the industry.
CEO of European Energy Knud Erik Andersen sees big potential in the new partnership: "The use of plastic is an integrated part of the modern world, not only in our daily lives but also in industrial processes and equipment. Novo Nordisk and the LEGO Group are already leading the way into the future in various ways, and now even more by joining this cooperation. This is relevant for all industries keen on transitioning away from fossil fuels."
The agreement between European Energy, Novo Nordisk and the LEGO Group will ensure the delivery of e-methanol for part of the two Danish companies’ materials production from 2024.
According to Dorethe Nielsen, Vice President of Corporate Environmental Strategy at Novo Nordisk, the agreement is an important step towards changing to non-fossil plastic: "We wish to drive the decarbonisation of our business forward, and as a producer of plastic devices we wish to reduce the use of fossil plastics by engaging with suppliers in our value chain that can provide the necessary solutions such as e-methanol for plastic production. With our environmental strategy, Circular for Zero, we have set an ambition to have zero environmental impact, and innovation is a key driver to get there. Hopefully, this project can encourage more partners to get involved in the decarbonisation of plastic production."
Nelleke van der Puil, Vice President of Materials at the LEGO Group, adds: "We are proud to join forces with European Energy and Novo Nordisk to accelerate research and progress in the development of lower-carbon plastics. As part of our commitment to building a sustainable future for children, we have committed to making our products from more sustainable materials. The project will give us our third sustainable material we've developed alongside bio-PE and prototype bricks made from recycled PET. This agreement is an exciting step towards our ambition."
The e-methanol will be produced at European Energy’s e-methanol facilities in Kassø, Aabenraa, Denmark. The production of e-methanol will be based on renewable energy from wind and solar plants as well as biogenic CO2. The first batch is expected to be delivered in 2024.
LEGO, press release, 2023-04-20.