Our focus areas
Our focus areas
Our prosperity has historically been governed by supply and demand for services and products. As growth increases, preserving our prosperity will depend on how we manage and conserve the Earth’s resources.
Our population is growing exponentially, but the planet’s resources are not growing with us – on the contrary, they are declining. Meanwhile, the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident. To turn this negative development around, we must be better at finding sustainable solutions for the future. That is why we are here, doing what we do every day: offering the market sustainably produced renewable alternatives.
For many years, Sweden has had better access to biofuels than almost any other country. This is thanks largely to the broad initiative for the establishment of E85, which has set the stage for pure biofuels as an important tool in the work toward a more sustainable society. Sekab was an influential player in conjunction with the introduction of E85, which saw a rapid upswing from 2004 and into the next few years.
The development quickly led to demand for increased security surrounding sustainable raw materials and Sekab initiated the award-winning “verified sustainable ethanol” system to increase transparency and traceability in the supply chain, which led to international regulations for sustainable fuels. February 2012 saw the first legal requirements for biofuels used in Sweden. At that time, Sekab had already progressed significantly in its sustainability work and was naturally among the first four companies to receive the Swedish Energy Agency’s sustainability decision for biofuels and liquid biofuels.
Before E85 became an established biofuel, Sekab had extensive experience from developing ED95, an ethanol-based fuel for modified diesel engines in heavy vehicles like buses and trucks. Already in the 80s, ethanol-powered buses drove the streets, contributing to a considerable reduction in particles and greenhouse gas emissions in Swedish cities. Sweden has been at the frontline of developing fuels and vehicles with a high biofuel blend, and just as for E85 for passenger cars, Sekab’s development of ED95 for buses and trucks has truly been an important piece of the puzzle for investments in more sustainable, high-blend fuels. The large raw material base of ethanol provides significant opportunities for a sustainable, large-scale transition to climate-smart transports.
We are planning for a full-scale production plant that can produce sustainable products such as ethanol, lignin and marine fuel from forestry residual products. The project was chosen during the year as one of Europe’s 70 most promising innovations for the climate by the EU Innovation Fund, which is an initiative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Europe.
For Sekab to be able to meet the sharply increased demand for green chemicals, collaborations with world-leading players are needed. Together with others who share our ambition, we are taking advantage of the opportunities created by the rapid transition that is currently underway. We are a part of a green industrial revolution that is fundamentally changing how we produce goods and services.
Mikael Fränckel, CEO of Sekab
At Sekab, we can make a difference by working for the chemical industry to switch to green options, and for consumers to start requesting bio-based options to a greater extent. Sekab’s process is adapted to offer sustainable, bio-based products and raw materials determine the sustainability of the resulting product. One of our goals for the future is to produce and sell only fossil-free chemical products, with no or minimal environmental impact. We inspire our customers and make it possible for them to find sustainable business, including through adaptations toward industry certifications. In the long term, we are monitoring and influencing political proposals and decisions concerning the chemical industry’s conditions for converting to bio-based chemicals.
We are also an active participant in the societal discussion on how everyone can work to achieve a fossil-free society. By demonstrating the possibilities for sustainable development in the chemical and biofuels industry, we can influence debates, politicians and decision-makers. This work is done through dialogue, both in Sweden and at EU level. Sekab gives lectures at seminars in bioeconomics and biofuels. By responding to public consultations, as well as writing and publishing op-eds, we make our voice heard and pursue long-term work for a sustainable world.
Sekab’s renewable blog launched in 2010, and since then we have worked to promote a bioeconomy in Sweden and fossil-free transports. Among other things, the blog has received recognition including “Inspiring a Sustainable Lifestyle” and Sweden’s “Most Renewable Bloggers.” The company is also active in social media, where among other things we show what it is like to work at Sekab and how we are working for a more sustainable world together.
Sekab is a member of several stakeholder organizations, such as the Swedish 2030-secretariat, Svebio and BioFuel Region. In these networks, we work together for a sustainable future through societal transition to renewable fuels.
Sekab supports Sweden’s major environmental and climate initiative to be a fossil-free welfare nation by 2045, and also participates in the Fossil Free Sweden initiative, which is a platform for dialogue and collaboration among companies, municipalities and other stakeholders that want to make Sweden fossil-fuel free. Fossil Free Sweden is working to accelerate the conversion – not just because it is possible, but also because it is economically profitable. Many challenges have been created within the framework of Fossil Free Sweden. They encourage companies, organizations, municipalities and regions to take concrete measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
In 2021, Sekab actively participated in EthaDrive, an initiative originating from the work of Fossil Free Sweden. Etha Drive is a one-of- a-kind rolling showcase for climate-smart heavy transports. With a fully operational vehicle fleet from Scania and the Swedish-produced biofuel ED95, EthaDrive is powerful validation that even heavy, long-distance transports can be converted and reduce their environmental impact by up to 90 percent – here and now.
Furthermore, Sekab has accepted the challenge regarding fossil-free transports and aims to achieve this goal by 2025. The challenge is to convert internal and external transports, where renewable alternatives can be implemented. For Sekab, the greatest challenge lies in influencing suppliers to convert to renewable alternatives. Because we are often one of many customers with our suppliers, it can be difficult to set demands for new means of transport. During the year, Sekab has therefore worked to clarify in our agreements our desire for our suppliers to make more sustainable transport choices when making new investments.
Together, we can do a lot!
Sekab is one of many companies in High Coast Innovation Park. Together, this area comprises the biorefinery in Örnsköldsvik, where the cluster structure is important for efficiency and development. Partnerships with the other companies give us a broad network within the forestry and processing industries. We are involved in several projects to develop commercially interesting processes and products based on forest raw materials and industrial residual streams in the area, which in addition to developing and strengthening the companies also strengthen High Coast Innovation Park as a center of excellence. We also have collaborations with research institutes, universities, government agencies, automotive manufacturers and other companies in the forestry and chemical industries.
At Sekab, we have developed technology for the fractionation of biomass. This technology facilitates the processing of biomass into sugar, lignin and biogas, which are in turn transformed into chemical products and fuels that are currently produced from fossil raw materials. In 2021, we have taken additional steps to be able to commercialize the technology and create conditions for scaling up.
In 2021, we began a capacity expansion of our acetaldehyde and acetic acid production. The purpose is to increase opportunities to meet the market’s demand for bio-based chemicals, primarily bio-based acetic acid, a product which we are one of few producers to offer. The capacity expansion is expected to be finished in late 2022 and will increase our production capacity by 30 percent.
For the fifth year running, our Strategic Business Developer Ylwa Alwarsdotter was included in the international bioeconomy blog Il Bioeconomista’s list of the world’s most significant women for the bioeconomy.
It is one of several concrete actions at a national level for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Sekab aims to achieve this goal already by 2025.
more visitors to sekab.com came from social media in 2021.
more visitors found our website from organic traffic, i.e. “earned” traffic from search engines.
more people follow us on our social channels, primarily on LinkedIn.
During the year, we had the opportunity to speak with Sweden’s royal couple about our experience adjusting our production to make hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant during the coronavirus pandemic.