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Aker BioMarine rolls out new circular economy company

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Aker BioMarine introduced AION, a new company offering products and services to companies with a desire to recycle waste and re-use materials. AION (Greek for “eternity”) stems from circular initiatives within Aker BioMarine focused on plastic waste and production residues.

Aker BioMarine will scale AION through a three-stage model. Aker BioMarine's own streams of plastic and biological production residues will be recycled into new products, allowing the company to reach its zero-waste vision. In addition, AION will work through Aker BioMarine's network to receive other companies' plastic and biowaste streams. AION aims to manage production residues globally and will work to scale its business model with an ambition for listing.

“There is no waste, only resources astray. These resources need to find their way into new value chains, contributing to increased resource efficiency while creating value. AION is well-positioned to play a key role in unleashing these commercial opportunities,” said Aker BioMarine’s CEO, Matts Johansen.

260 million tons of plastic waste is generated annually worldwide. The EU has set a target of 55% recycling of plastic packaging waste by 2030. According to McKinsey, only 16% of plastic packaging waste is recycled today, but additional regulatory tightening is expected. In 2021, the technical specifications of the EU Taxonomy objective on the circular economy will be defined. This is likely to create a pull in the market for recycled products. In order to reach the target of a 55% recycling rate by 2030, McKinsey predicts a market size potential of $60 billion. In this context, Aker BioMarine sees large opportunities for AION.

The establishment of AION takes place through the acquisition of a startup company built by Lasse Johansen, an employee at Aker BioMarine. AION is built on an existing value chain and is one of three Norwegian companies certified B-Corp. This is recognized as one of the most important sustainability certifications in American retail. Lasse Johansen will continue to play an active role as working chairman of AION.

“The world is facing several environmental challenges that require solutions at the industrial level,” said Runa Haug Khoury, who takes on the role as general manager of AION. She currently is sustainability director at Aker BioMarine. “Being allowed to scale up and take lead on a green commercial venture of this scope, based out of a system like Aker, is the dream job,” concluded Haug Khoury.

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