Stefan Truniger

Stefan Truniger

General Manager WEIDMANN Fiber Technology

Is microfibrillated cellulose sustainable – yes, of course it is. Should the industry adopt the material just because of that? I wholeheartedly say No.

Value is what counts

Sustainability is a theme in today’s industry. Having recently walked the aisles of many an industrial fair I could not help but notice that it is becoming very much a buzzword.

‘Sustainable’, ‘Green’, ‘Bio based’, ‘Renewable’ at every corner including a plethora of labels and certificates made my head spin.

There’s a good side – the idea of a careful handling of our planet’s resources has arrived in the industry, almost across the board. Weidmann with its electrical insulations based on cellulose has this at the very heart and has been running initiatives to reduce it’s footprint on this planet for years.

However, the real key to bringing the world to a more sustainable behaviour as a whole can only lead through value. Would cellulose based electrical insulations have taken over the world of electrical transformers, if it would not work or if there was a more valuable but less sustainable material available? I think not. In the end, the decision to buy a certain material is done on performance and price.

Weidmann Fiber Technology therefore focuses on tailoring microfibrillated cellulose exactly to the requirements of our customers in order to create the most value with this amazing material (have a look at Nadine’s post about some of the properties and uses of microfibrillated cellulose). One of the drawbacks of MFC is the high content of water – we quite simply have a logistical problem with this material. Weidmann has thus decided to always include the cradle to cradle approach into any of our projects, going as far as to license parts of our technology (patent applied) to our customers in order to gain efficiency and reduce the logistical problem and its impact on the environment.

Is sustainability just a fad?

To conclude – is sustainability a fad? I do not think so – it is an important concept to bring into the world and save our planet for future generations. But just talking about it won’t work. We need sustainable materials that can compete based on performance and value. Microfibrillated cellulose can be such a material. Is it the right on for you? Contact us to find out.