Biobased Products Can Increase Profitability, Environmental Benefits of Renewable Energy Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, March 05, 2008) - Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Executive Vice President, Industrial & Environmental Section, Brent Erickson, speaking today at a session titled “Biobased Products: Feedstocks, Markets & Drivers” held at the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008 (WIREC 2008), released the following statement:

“Industrial biotechnology will transform production of chemicals and plastics as well as biofuels, helping companies cut energy use, reduce environmental impact, and improve their bottom lines. Ongoing advances in industrial biotechnology – such as discovery and development of new enzymes and fermentation techniques that can replace use of petrochemicals – are major drivers in building a biobased economy.

“Consumers are increasingly looking for “green” products. With oil priced above $100 per barrel, products made from renewable resources instead of petroleum will be both an environmentally sound choice and an economic preference for consumers. Biobased products are cost-competitive with petroleum-based materials even when oil is priced lower, so companies that adopt industrial biotechnology can cut costs, make better products, and increase profitability.

“Using biotechnology to produce plastics and chemicals from renewable resources can significantly cut both petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, by wrapping food products in biobased plastic instead of petroleum, one large national retailer is now effectively reducing CO2 emissions by 11,957,000 pounds each year, which is equivalent to driving a car 14.3 million miles.

“The overall impact of biobased production on the U.S. economy is expected to be huge. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce projected that production of advanced biofuels could increase U.S. GDP by $4.7 billion and attract investment of $5.9 billion, while creating more than 20,000 jobs.”

Erickson will be speaking at two panel sessions at WIREC 2008:

Biobased Products: Feedstocks, Markets & Drivers
                        Weds. March 5 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 PM EST.
                        Room 152A
                        Washington Convention Center

Sustainable Development of Advanced Biofuels for the 21st Century
                        Thurs. March 6 from 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST.
                        Room 149B
                        Washington Convention Center


Upcoming BIO Events

 ·   Partnering for Global Health  
    March 10-12, 2008
    Washington, DC

 ·   BIO-Europe Spring 
    April 7-9, 2008
    Madrid, Spain

 ·   BIO National Venture Conference 
    April 22-23, 2008
    Boston, Mass.

 ·   World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing  
    April 27-30, 2008
    Chicago, Ill.

 ·   2008 BIO International Convention 
    June 17-20, 2008
    San Diego, Calif.


About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,150 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology technologies. BIO also produces the annual BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.