DIC Steps Up Environmental Investments in Outdoor Algae Cultivation Facilities at Subsidiaries in the United States and the PRC — Investments aimed at helping achieve zero discharge of wastewater at both facilities, thereby contributing to sustainability for the global environment and society —

  • Management & IR
  • News Release
Sep. 14, 2022
#ESG #sustainability #biomass #bio-venture #algae #curbonnetzero #zerodischarge

Tokyo, Japan—DIC Corporation announced today that it will make an environmental investment of approximately ¥1.2 billion (US$9.0 million) at subsidiaries Earthrise Nutritionals, LLC, in the U.S. state of California, and Hainan DIC Microalgae Co., Ltd., in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), both of which produce edible blue-green algae Spirulina and Spirulina-derived natural blue food coloring LINABLUE®. The objective of related environmental investments to date and this new investment is to enable both companies to achieve zero discharge of wastewater from their outdoor algae cultivation facilities by January 2023.

In 1978, DIC became the world’s first successful commercial producer of Spirulina. Since then, the Company, a pioneer in Spirulina research, has pursued innovations in mass cultivation technologies to optimize culture conditions and discover useful algae strains, as well as to improve production efficiency, thereby reducing water and fertilizer use.

DIC has positioned sustainability, including environmental issues, as a key management priority. In its "DIC Vision 2030” long-term management plan, announced in February 2022, the Company set forth a target for reducing CO₂ emissions by 50% from the fiscal year 2013 level by fiscal year 2030, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality—net zero CO2 emissions—by fiscal year 2050, thereby clarifying its commitment to decarbonization.

“Expectations regarding corporate initiatives in relation to environmental, social and governance (ESG) and the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) are rising,” says Product Manager Taro Ichimoto of the Health Care Foods Product Group. “We have resolved to invest a total of approximately ¥1.2 billion in equipment, in line with our basic sustainability policy, with the objective of improving our ability to ensure stable supplies of high-quality products with fewer resources.”

This new environmental investment will enable Earthrise and Hainan DIC Microalgae to improve the efficiency of water circulation and ensure the continuous use of culture solutions at their outdoor algae cultivation facilities, thereby helping realize zero discharge of wastewater despite the use of significant amounts of water in both the cultivation of Spirulina and the extraction of LINABLUE®.

To date, the DIC Group has attached great importance to improving sustainability. Earthrise has expanded its use of renewable energy, which now accounts for more than 50% of its total energy consumption, while Hainan DIC Microalgae has increased its use of biomass resources. Both companies have also promoted the active use of the byproducts of LINABLUE® extraction. The Group’s decision to make this environmental investment was prompted by its desire to accelerate such efforts, with funds to be applied to facility upgrades and equipment installations crucial to achieving zero discharge of wastewater.

In addition to this environmental investment, DIC will seek to introduce new cultivation technologies for algae and mycelia in collaboration with biotech start-in which it has invested, as well as to expand its portfolio of biobased products with applications in diverse areas.

The DIC Group will continue to promote sustainability strategies with the aim of evolving as a unique global company that is trusted by society.

- Ends -

Earthrise, headquartered in Irvine, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of DIC that produces Spirulina blue-green algae for use in health foods, as well as Spirulina-derived natural blue food coloring Linablue®. The company produces 550 tonnes of dried Spirulina annually and its outdoor algae cultivation facility, at approximately 190,000 square meters, is one of the world’s largest. Earthrise is the only company in the continental United States to succeed in the stable outdoor mass cultivation of Spirulina. It has earned Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000, under a prominent food safety certification scheme, and has been audited under the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) program.

Hainan DIC Microalgae is a wholly owned subsidiary of DIC based in Haikou, in the PRC’s Hainan Province, that produces Spirulina, as well as LINABLUE®. The company’s annual output of dried Spirulina is 350 tonnes. Like Earthrise, Hainan DIC Microalgae has earned a number of food safety certifications.

DIC Corporation is one of the world’s leading fine chemicals manufacturers and the core of the DIC Group, a multinational organization comprising over 190 subsidiaries, including Sun Chemical Corporation, in more than 60 countries and territories. The DIC Group is recognized as a global leader in the markets for a variety of products essential to modern lifestyles, including packaging materials, display materials such as those used in television and computer displays, and high-performance materials for smartphones and other digital devices, as well as for automobiles. Through such products, the Group endeavors to deliver safety and peace of mind, as well as color and comfort, to people everywhere. The DIC Group also seeks to contribute to a sustainable society by developing innovative products that respond to social change and which help address social imperatives. With annual consolidated sales currently in excess of ¥800 billion and 22,000-plus employees worldwide, the Group pledges to continue working in close cooperation with its customers wherever they are.

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