In a successful example of academia and industry collaboration, HL’s partnership with KTH Royal Institute of Technology and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute brings more sustainable choices to retail stores. In 2018, the partnership resulted in the development of datastrips made of bioplastic based on sugarcane and corn, reducing the use of fossil-based plastic.
The collaboration started in 2017 when the company HL Display partnered with KTH and IVL to calculate the environmental footprint of their products. The aim was to find ways to develop more sustainable products and to reduce their use of fossil-based plastics.
IVL investigated how a datastrip affects the environment during its entire life cycle, from extraction of raw materials to end-of-life management. KTH provided knowledge and insights on bio-based materials with the right properties to produce high quality products.
The result of this work is HL Sustainable Choice, a growing range of sustainable merchandising solutions made of renewable or recycled materials. Since the launch in October 2018 the assortment has been expanded and HL is proud to be able to offer a sustainable choice on more than one third of the portfolio as of January 2020.
The collaboration is a good example of how sustainable products can be developed by industry working together with academia and research institutes. In this case it was about combining the knowledge of academia, the needs of the industry and the realities of the bioplastic sector.
– We would never be where we are without input from science and research. At the same time, the research has to be implemented and adapted to the needs of the market. The link between the different perspectives is where we find sustainable solutions, says Sebastian Welling, project manager at IVL.