Biotech innovator and Antarctic krill-harvesting company Aker BioMarine has made a bid to enter the “circular economy” with the launch of a spinoff business specialising in recycling plastic and and waste production residues.
AION – Greek for “eternity” – will focus first on finding ways to recycle Aker’s own plastic waste, then on working with other companies in Aker’s network. Finally, it aims to become a world leader in this field, offering its services more widely.
The ultimate ambition, Aker said, is to spin off AION to its shareholders and separately list the company.
Haug Khoury, newly appointed CEO of AION, said: “The world faces several environmental challenges that require industrial solutions. My ambition is to establish AION as a front runner of circular business models.”
The starting point for AION was Aker’s set of circular initiatives, focused on plastic waste and production residues. Now, the offering to customers will involve “Circularity as a Service” software, developed in collaboration with Cognite, which will provide traceability, resource optimization and monitoring of the most central data points for circular product management.
AION has already established a value chain and is one of three Norwegian companies that has attained “B-Corp” certification as a sustainable business.
260 million tons of plastic waste is generated annually worldwide. EU has set a target of 55% recycling of plastic packaging waste within 2030. According to consultants McKinsey, only 16% of plastic packaging waste is recycled today, but additional regulatory tightening is expected.
During 2021, the technical specifications of the EU Taxonomy objective on 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 55% recycling rate in 2030, McKinsey predicts a market size potential of USD 60 billion. In this context, Aker BioMarine sees large opportunities for AION.
Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine said: “There is no such thing as 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.”