BASF Forward AM renews commitment to sustainable AM

Pledging to offer the most Life Cycle Assessments and Carbon Compensated materials within additive manufacturing by the end of 2023

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In Q4 of 2022, BASF Forward AM launched #ProjectZero to mark the start of a long-term commitment to reducing the company’s impact on the planet. This comprehensive program includes the continuing development of sustainable products, solutions, and production methods, as well as the utilization of Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) – which are designed to understand and better communicate the ecological effects 3D printing, and the larger industry, has on the planet. By proactively measuring its environmental impact through LCAs, the BASF Forward AM can reduce its carbon footprint and offset what cannot be eliminated through its Carbon Compensation (CC) program.

With unwavering support from Forward AM’s leadership, this program has evolved the way the company works through the education and encouragement of its team to make responsible choices. The company works to both better understand the environmental impact of its materials as they are developed and produced, as well as to identify the way they are being used by consumers. By providing this detailed information to customers, the company enables them to make more sustainable choices for their businesses as well as reduce their carbon footprint.

Life Cycle Assessments

A Life Cycle Assessment is a study that calculates the environmental impacts that are associated with every step of the production of a product. BASF Forward AM currently offers LCAs for HP 3D High Reusability PP, Ultrasint PA11, TPU01, TPU 88A, PP 1400 Black, and is working to add ten more by the end of 2023. This total of 15 LCAs would be the highest number offered by any material supplier within the world of 3D printing.

This means Forward AM will provide a detailed report of the material, energy, and other resources that are being used over a product’s life span. These data points are gathered across the product’s industry value chain and later cumulated into an emission score.

Carbon Compensation

BASF Forward AM launched the Carbon Compensation (CC) program to counterbalance what it cannot reduce – to go full circle as responsible environmental stewards. This program is a tool that can be utilized to reduce carbon emissions in the short term, while efforts to transition to renewable energy and overall emission reductions are being made.

Carbon Compensation is offered for the company’s PP line of materials, which includes HP 3D High Reusability PP and PP 1400 Black, as well as Ultrasint TPU01, TPU 88A, TPU 88A Black, and will be increasing the number of materials in this program by the end of 2023 to a total of 12. This increase in the products encompassed in this program will continue to finance projects that result in long-term carbon capture, which will then balance out the unavoidable emissions that are created during the manufacturing process of the company’s materials.

UN sustainable development goals

In May of this year, Martin Back, CEO, and Managing Director of Forward AM, signed a letter to express the company’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“As a global leader in advanced materials and 3D printing solutions, we recognize the importance of working towards a sustainable future for all. Forward AM is dedicated to reducing waste throughout our supply chain, minimizing our carbon footprint as well as to continue promoting social responsibility by ensuring fair labor practices and supporting local communities,” said Back. “Our innovative work and collaboration with other like-minded organizations will lead to meaningful progress towards these shared  goals as the only way forward is together.”

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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