Climate change is the defining issue of our time.
We have already passed several climate ‘tipping points’ – global temperature increases that have caused irreversible damage to aspects of our environment. As greenhouse gas emissions drive global temperatures higher, we run the risk of hitting more of these ‘tipping points’ – such as the collapse of the Labrador Sea current and the East Antarctic glacier.
What all of this means is that decarbonising in every area of operation should be at the top of the priority list for any modern business. However, when it comes to decarbonising a supply chain, this worthwhile aim comes with some big challenges as today’s supply chains are long and complex.
That’s where we come in! At ACI Group, we have over 35 years of experience as a distributor, connecting like-minded businesses and suppliers to create efficient, sustainable supply chains across a number of sectors. We specialise in overcoming those supply chain challenges for you, freeing up your business to focus on what you’re best at. Here’s how we’re working towards that in your sector.
Pharmaceuticals & Nutraceuticals
The last couple of years have been tough for the pharma supply chain. COVID may be thought of as a thing of the past in the West, but China’s past zero-tolerance policy means Asian supply chains are still quite fragile, primarly due to the ramifications of such regimental measures until late 2022. And, in the US and Europe, NSAID sourcing has proven to be difficult. As a result, supplies of common drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin have been stretched.
This sort of disruption can lead to desperation, where businesses look to source products and ingredients through any means necessary. As we saw during the worst of the pandemic, sustainability and decarbonisation tend to slip down the priority list in times like this. This is understandable, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Partnering with a distributor like ACI means we can use our unparalleled knowledge of the pharma and nutraceutical sectors to find appropriate alternative ingredients and materials, help you connect with local distributors, and alleviate supply chain pressure in a more sustainable way.
Our roads are arguably the most important battlegrounds in the fight against climate change. Delivering low carbon solutions and innovations is impossible without the infrastructure in place to carry them.
That’s why we’re seeing UK roads turn away from traditional hot rolled asphalt as its surface material of choice. Warm mix asphalt (WMA) is an increasingly common road surface material in the UK – and, while it only accounts for 5-6% of the 25 million tonnes of asphalt the UK produces every year, this number is growing. In other countries, like the USA, WMA already makes up around 40% of asphalt use.
While hot rolled asphalt requires very hot temperatures of up to 190°C to be produced, which must be maintained during production, paving, and compaction, WMA can be produced at much lower temperatures. Should the UK switch entirely to WMA-surfaced roads, it could save us 61,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. And WMA can be augmented with additives like gilsonite to improve its durability in extreme weather – something that will reduce resources needed for future resurfacing work as ferocious heatwaves and sudden downpours become more common.
These changes are promising, but they need to happen at scale and speed to make the kind of difference our planet needs. Who is going to connect the road industry, contractors, town planners, councils, and material suppliers to help drive these sustainable changes? That’s right; it will be sustainably driven companies like ACI Group.
Industrial performance chemicals
‘Industrial performance chemicals’ and ‘sustainability’ are not necessarily two concepts that sit easily together. And yet, to help us reach national and international targets on greenhouse gas emissions before 2050, some progress will have to be made.
This is not as unlikely as it might seem at first. Recent innovations in biodegradable polymers have unlocked exciting new potential for additives that break down into harmless byproducts like water and biomass. The same is true of inks and coatings, foundry resins, and even resins used in the aerospace industry. Sustainability legislation and corporate and consumer preferences are increasingly demanding lower-carbon alternative additives and chemicals to include in industrial formulations.
At ACI Group, going the extra mile to connect businesses with the suppliers of these options is at the core of our business. That’s why we recently achieved our Social Value Quality Mark (SVQM) Level 2 certification. This proves we’re committed to increasing the percentage of organic, non-hazardous, and biodegradable options in our portfolio. It also certifies our pledge to hold all our suppliers accountable to both their own environmental commitments, and ours.
Food production is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, responsible for around 26% of all greenhouse gas emissions. It consumes a lot of water and generates emissions through farming, processing, transport, and more. While much of this is unavoidable – the 7 billion people on Earth will always need to eat – it should be every company’s goal to trim inefficiencies out of their supply chains and reduce that 26% figure by as much as possible, while still providing innovative new products to delight consumers.
At ACI Group, we can connect your food business to leading suppliers of ingredients, functional ingredients, and proteins – and you can be assured that they provide sustainably-produced products. For an example of what we look for in a supplier, take Caltron Clays, the Mumbai-based company who we inked a partnership with in 2022.
The company offers innovative, sustainable nutraceutical and functional ingredients to food brands and manufacturers, including Algae Calcium powder, which is derived from the Lithothamnium Calcareum (Rhodophyta) seaweed from the Philippines. It also provides a natural Marine Magnesium Salt, which contains more than 70 trace minerals, promoting stronger bones and teeth, while helping to regulate the metabolism. Unlike manufactured salt, which requires the water from pumped brine to be evaporated using heat, this natural salt has a significantly lower carbon footprint.
By making the leap and partnering with a supply chain expert like ACI Group, you’re taking a huge – and vital – step towards decarbonising your supply chain. To learn more about any of the topics covered above and to find out how we can help your business grow, get in touch today!