Once touted as the cleaner alternative to gasoline due to lower CO2 emissions, the use of diesel as a transportation fuel is under intense scrutiny following Volkswagen’s scandal in 2015. Since then, academics and media outlets have publicized the adverse effects of NOx emissions on air quality and public health. In a somewhat knee-jerk reaction, many governments around the world called for an outright ban of diesel vehicles.
Lux Research compiled a non-exhaustive list of cities around the world that announced intentions to ban diesel vehicles. While some cities called for a blanket ban, others are introducing restrictions to limit the number of diesel vehicles, a step we believe will eventually move towards a ban.
Last week, Neste announced a partnership with IKEA to develop bio-based plastics for use in IKEA’s home furnishing products. According to Neste’s press release, the partners openly “invite other companies to join the initiative” to reduce dependence on petroleum-based materials and “address the growing market for bio-based products.” IKEA and Neste aim to produce the first proof-of-concept product during 2017.
In 2014, IKEA released its Sustainability Strategy Report highlighting commitments to source all plastic for its home furnishing product line from 100% renewable and/or recycled material by August 2020. Since then, the company has formed a series of partnerships in the bio-based space, including a supply, collaboration, and technology license agreement with Newlight Technologies in March 2016 (client registration required for both). The most recent partnership with Neste further emphasizes IKEA’s leadership in commercializing bio-based products, especially against the tide of low crude oil prices and nascent regulatory drivers. Continue reading