After its launch on September 20, 2020, the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) celebrated its first anniversary this fall. Beginning with 11 founding members, the RCI has grown to 30 member companies in its first year. Numerous webinars, press releases, background information, a glossary, and a comic have conveyed the renewable carbon concept. The RCI is actively working on labelling and policy analysis, and more activities will follow in the next year.

The topic of renewable carbon in chemicals and materials is increasingly becoming a focus of politics and industry. Larger companies will have to report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and also the footprint of their products as part of legislative changes surrounding the European Green Deal. In this context, indirect emissions and the carbon sources of materials will play a much more crucial role.

The RCI is actively working on solutions for companies to shift from fossil to renewable carbon, including the use of bio-based feedstocks, CO2-based resources, and recycling. In the future, reporting on GHG emissions will also include Scope 3 emissions, which are all indirect emissions that occur along the company's value and supply chain and where the used raw materials account for a large proportion of the footprint. Here is where the carbon source of chemicals and plastics comes into play as an important contributor to the carbon footprint. Without a shift from fossil to renewable carbon feedstocks (combining bio-based, CO2-based, and recycled), a sustainable future and the Paris climate targets will be almost impossible to master.

For its second year, RCI reports that it will focus on a comprehensive understanding of the expected political framework conditions in Europe and across the globe, since they will determine the future of chemistry and materials more than ever. Building on this knowledge, the topic of renewable carbon could then to be systematically integrated into new political directives.

Additional details about the Renewable Carbon Initiative are available at