Novozyme, the Danish offshoot of pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, has begun using naturally occurring enzymes from bacteria and fungus to “replace traditional chemicals or additives and help to save water and energy in a variety of production processes.”
The company has used biological based innovations to grow its product line. “With over 700 products used in 130 countries, Novozymes’ bioinnovations improve industrial performance and reduce consumption of the world’s resources. From food to biofuel and from clothes to biopharmaceuticals, our sustainable solutions help our customers succeed today while preparing them for the inevitable requirements of tomorrow.”
In a Forbes article from earlier this year, the company’s “GH-61 will help transform corncobs into ethanol for autos, likely marking the first production of cellulosic ethanol at a reasonable price.” Led by Steen Riisgaard since its split from Novo Nordisk, Novozyme’s “enzymes are crowding out petroleum-based ingredients in laundry and dish detergents”. Forbes reports that the CEO, who grew up loving nature, “dreams of a ‘bio-based society,’” one which would bring us closer to the path of strong sustainability.
Novozyme’s parent company has a long history of sustainability measures. Mentioned in Paul Hawken’s 1993 work, The Ecology of Commerce, Novo Nordisk was involved in a unique collaboration with numerous nearby utilities and companies where they sold waste heat and sludge back and forth. The various companies would sell their waste, thereby turning it into an asset. Innovative approaches to waste and replacements for chemical additives have enabled these two companies to stand at the forefront of the second green revolution.