Waste Valorization and the Triple Win

Valorization: Image of plaste that has been upcycled to create art

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Valorization, upcycling, or waste reclamation. Regardless of the term, manufacturers of ingredients, personal care products, or food and beverages are introducing new product lines that use discarded material.  This is a triple win. Consumers want sustainable products. Manufacturers want to reduce waste from any production process. Companies across the supply chain want to improve their bottom line. 

Valorization, upcycling, or waste reclamation are all terms for finding value in by-products or remaining materials from a manufacturing process. This waste or by-product can be sold for animal feed or some other low-value market. However, the goal of upcycling is to create something of higher value that has a positive impact on the environment.

How do we help clients achieve their triple win?

To help our clients find the value and reduce the environment impact of by-products, we:

  • Consider the by-product as an asset
  • Understand this asset from a chemical, physical, and biological perspective;
  • Acknowledge the challenges of the asset such as water content, stability, and heat sensitivity;
  • Find industries and applications that need materials with the asset’s characteristics; and
  • Assess the market potential of the asset.

Our approach creates potential paths – some easy and some more difficult – to success for our clients. Perhaps the by-product has a market in in an adjacent industry like nutraceuticals or chemical manufacturing. In collaboration with the clients’ development, manufacturing, and marketing teams we helped them understand the opportunity and how to convert by-products to higher value and sustainable ingredients.

How do we help manufacturers gain value from waste?

  • A global B2B manufacturer had a by-product that they suspected had great market value. The manufacturer didn’t know the ideal market. Nor did they know to what extent the by-product should be further processed to achieve the maximum value. We considered the by-product as an asset, and characterized the asset’s properties. This included looking at how it could be further processed to create distinctly different new ingredients. Then, we identified and considered potential markets for the different new ingredients. Within each market, we spoke with stakeholders across the supply chains. Our goal was to understand their needs and to assess our client’s value proposition. Through our SWOT analysis, we uncovered three potential paths for our client: partnership, acquisition, and ingredient development. Because the client understands their options to delight their stakeholders, reduce processing waste, and increase revenue, the group is on the path to achieving a triple win.
  • A trade association client had by-products that were mostly commoditized. The association represented companies in an industry with stabilized commodity products and further processed high-value products. The members wanted to understand potential higher-value opportunities for by-products. We investigated the technical and functional attributes of the by-product and identified several opportunities. Our insights revealed that the opportunities were at different stages of technology readiness and across several markets. Using our findings, the trade association member companies are able to pursue opportunities for a triple win based on their specific product line and growth strategy.

Are you ready to explore the value of your by-products? Please be in touch.

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