Time to read: 7 minutes
Distribution’s role in a greener economy
By: Brett Levy & Dan Andersson
As a technical solutions distributor, IMCD plays an integral role in simplifying the topic of sustainability, “Thinking Beyond The Materials.”
As consumers and businesses continue to commit to greener ways of living and working, sustainability is now more important than ever. Governments, industries and companies are pledging new initiatives to minimise their impact on the environment. Global chemical manufacturers are developing new technologies geared towards a circular tomorrow.
Distribution has a front-row seat at the emergence of a new global green economy, where corporate growth is not just being measured in terms of profit, but by overall sustainable impact.
The general understanding of a distributor’s role is to provide a product for an application at a competitive price. However, to our understanding at IMCD, the distribution’s role is much more: we take a technical solutions-based approach. Our teams don’t stop at material selection but go beyond the chemistry and processes with valuable knowledge sharing, local warehousing, technical support, and service excellence. We work with our partners to deliver a solution that helps them achieve their goals – whether in terms of profit or environmental performance, or both. In the process, we make sure our clients improve their knowledge, business processes and value chains.
IMCD’s Sustainable Solutions are technologies, products and processes that minimise businesses’ environmental impact as compared to existing choices. With its holistic view across a broad range of 24 markets, IMCD plays an integral role in supporting our customers and principal partners in their sustainability efforts.
We add value by way of three pillars:
IMCD’s Sustainable role in the green economy
IMCD partners with companies of all sizes to help them decomplexify sustainability challenges in the face of ever-evolving demands, regulations, and sustainability targets.
We combine our market intelligence, technical expertise, and product know-how with global best-practice drawn from a presence in 24 markets across more than 50 countries, guiding customers towards the right choices for their products.
While sustainable distribution is now of paramount importance, the depth of the subject means that simply approaching the concept can be an overwhelming task.
As a distribution partner, IMCD helps break down this complexity through education.
IMCD Insights Library
As a distributor, IMCD works to shorten the runway to understanding sustainability by decomplexifying different topics across every aspect of the business.
We have industry experts and targeted taskforces that track and analyse the pulse on both global mega-trends and local market developments to ensure all of our partners stay ahead of the curve.
These reports are housed in IMCD’s Insights Library, also known as our New Frontiers Knowledge Center. This library is full of free resources for customers to access, including articles, annual Trend Reports, ongoing podcasts, and educational whitepapers.
These resources help simplify such topics as how to reduce CO₂, the role of the waste hierarchy in the circular economy, or how plastic contributes to sustainability.
Eight ways to improve sustainability
Our second pillar is our Sustainable Solutions directory, composed of the eight sustainability categories shown below. Each category includes solutions that promote green strategies through materials, technology and process optimisation to help manufacturers further their sustainability journey.
The eight sustainability solutions are:
A group of materials that are not durable in certain conditions and include soil, water, marine classified options that decompose into water, CO₂ and biomass. This category includes polymers, additives and compounds that support high-performance applications but can also be easily broken down after use.
Materials that reduce CO₂ typically come from renewable sources, they may be recycled, and can help reduce weight, waste, and energy.
IMCD’s compostable solutions comprise materials can be returned to the earth after use, whether through industrial or home composting. Compostable materials can be developed from both organic and petrochemical sources and are subject to certification in different markets.
These are innovative solutions that improve the durability of polymer products, or which help packaging last longer and promote recyclability.
This category is all about giving the materials a second life and enabling recycling. It also contains recycled grades coming from the industrial and post-consuming streams. They include additives for improving recyclate quality such as antioxidants.
These materials can be polymers, additives, and/or reinforcement materials that are based on a renewable source.
These solutions help minimise product packaging and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. In turn, this reduces costs and material needs, while appealing to customers. Using a high-performance cleaning compound is a great way to start reducing your waste while also reducing overall cost and energy usage between runs.
These materials have their structure remodelled to reduce the amount of materials used while maintaining the same mechanical and thermal properties. By minimising weight, they save on costs and bring an added value to the environment.
Industry-focused technical expertise
Collaboration underpins the third pillar of IMCD’s role as a distributor. IMCD’s experts bring an in-depth understanding to sustainability problems. Backed by deep experience across industries and geographies, our technical account managers can advise on complex material and design solutions.
This expert role often extends to challenging and stimulating customers’ thinking around alternative distribution strategies.
As an outsourced sustainability partner, IMCD functions as an integral part of customers’ teams to discover routes to optimize business.
Reach out to IMCD today
As part of our mission to think beyond the materials, IMCD makes it easy for our partners to understand and utilise sustainable solutions at every step of their journey, to make a positive impact on their organization and the world.
Schedule a consultation with us today to see how we can align and strengthen your organisation’s sustainability objectives.