ECOR, the global leader in sustainable materials and solutions for the circular economy, today announced that Hazel Henderson, a world renowned economic analyst, author and the pioneer of sustainable ethical finance, has joined its Advisory Board.

The Board will influence ECOR’s long-term circular economy and sustainable product vision and actively advance best practices with industry leaders to integrate ECOR-based materials and products into their supply chain.

“Hazel brings deep knowledge of sustainable development and a global network of industry leaders, innovators and financiers that recognize the importance of creating measurable, scalable and immediate environmental impact, and recognize the critical importance of the circular economy,” said Jay Potter, CoFounder of ECOR. “Hazel will be a dynamic and strong asset in guiding our Advisory Board members as they exchange ideas, advocate for ECOR among their communities, and share experiences in navigating evolving and global market trends related to a circular economy.”

Hazel is the Founder of Ethical Markets and produced the Ethical Markets television series on green and socially responsible investing. She is author of 9 books, including “Mapping the Global Transition to the Solar Age“, The Green Transition Scoreboard®, and 2017 report on “Deepening Green Finance.”

Henderson said, “I’m excited to join the ECOR Advisory Board, because the company is revolutionizing the recycling industry and is helping name brands and smart cities save money, by designing more sustainable ECOR-based products, and re-using their own waste to make ECOR, instead of traditional wood-based materials that require cutting down trees,” “Consumers everywhere are demanding more sustainability from brands and government, and ECOR is leading the way in empowering brands to use cradle-to-cradle design principles and engage in the circular economy, in a manner which reduces costs and wastes, and grows their businesses.”

ABOUT ECOR®
The ECOR product line of sustainable materials are designed to be made from 100% recycled content, certified cradle-to-cradle, 100% bio-based, recyclable, compostable and to provide sustainable and healthy material solutions for the architectural, furniture, print and packaging industries. The ECOR technology is an innovative high-value recycling process designed to increase the types of recyclable waste, decrease dependence on wood-based products and materials, and to enable the design principles of a circular economy for complete recyclability. Visit ECORGLOBAL.com to learn more.

ABOUT ETHICAL MARKETS:
Since 2004, Ethical Markets Media and its global Advisory Board, help accelerate the global transition from fossilized economies to the cleaner, more inclusive, knowledge-richer green economies of the Solar Age (as outlined in Henderson’s books in 800 libraries in over 20 languages worldwide). In addition to the Green Transition Scoreboard ® , other intellectual products include: Principles of Ethical Biomimicry Finance ® ; the global TV series “ Transforming Finance “ distributed to educational markets by www.films.com; the EthicMark® Awards for Advertising that Uplifts the Human Spirit and Society , now accepting nominations for its 2017 Awards at www.ethicmark.org; the EthicMark®GEMS certification www.ethicmarkgems.com and other standard-setting for the global transition to sustainable societies ratified by 195 country members in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Visit www.ethicalmarkets.com to learn more.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Dr. Hazel Henderson 904.829.3140 Hazel.henderson@ethicalmarkets.com

Kevin Davis 858.779.4538 kevindavis@ecorglobal.com

The Netherlands-based paper manufacturer, Van Houtum, has announced a €5 million investment in a joint venture for the production of ECOR, a sustainable alternative to particleboard and other materials, made from recycled waste resources ranging from paper and agricultural waste, to textiles and even beverage cups as a raw material feedstock. The ECOR green building materials emerged on the Netherlands market about a year ago, from a regional subsidiary of Noble Environmental Technologies in Venlo.

The ECOR panels that will be manufactured by the Van Houtum joint venture with Noble Environmental Technologies, will be an alternative to materials like MDF or chipboard, both in manufacturing process and chemical composition. The ECOR manufacturing process binds the cellulose fibers to each other, without the use of toxic glues and resins, using only water, heat and pressure. The panels can be used for anything to make anything including wall and ceiling tiles, furniture, print and packaging.

The recycled waste that will be used to make ECOR will be sourced from regional enterprises and institutions, including the Schiphol Airport, recycling centers and manufacturing organizations. According to Van Houtum, many companies regularly produce cellulose fiber waste and they are now looking for a circular economy solution to recycle and re-use this waste. Bas Gehlen, Managing Director of Van Houtum, said “We are working with many companies and institutions, such as the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, the Schiphol Trade Park, regional water boards, and provinces like Friesland to provide a circular economy solution to convert their problematic cellulose fiber waste – think of grasses like miscanthus, old clothes and even paper drinking cups. We can convert this waste and more into the ECOR-based alternative materials and products they currently buy.”

Competition in Paper is Currently Very Fierce

Van Houtum has been family owned for eighty years and is one of the last remaining independent paper mills in the Netherlands. They produce many private label toilet paper and paper towels products, with their most popular product being Satino Black, a cradle to cradle certified bathroom tissue.

“We have two large paper manufacturing machines located at a business complex near Roermond, and had planned to replace these machines, but have refrained from doing so due to the fierce competition in the regional paper market and the uncertainty of getting a return on the millions in equipment investment required”, says Gehlen.

Gehlen (50) has served as Managing Director for the past five years, following the retirement of Henk van Houtum (63) as CEO, who is is still active as an advisor, auditor and the sole shareholder.

The Distinction of a Sustainability Profile

Bas Gehlen

Bas Gehlen

For a small paper producer – with 200 employees and €60 million in annual revenue – to distinguish itself from the international giants like Kimberly-Clark and SCA, Van Houtum has positioned itself as the leading producer of truly sustainable products, made from 100% recycled content and with the design principles of the circular economy. For decades, they have been making 100% recycled paper by removing ink, chalk, and other contaminants from recycled paper products.

With an annual production of 70,000 tons of paper, Van Houtum uses many other waste resources for nearly one third of its’ raw materials needs beyond wasted paper, which includes recycled tetrapak beverage containers.

But Gehlen realizes that, given the competition in the paper market, innovation is a necessity and sustainability is in demand. Which is what lead to their investment, with a foreign partner, to produce the ECOR panels which are made from 100% recycled cellulose fiber, 100% recyclable and free of toxic glues and VOCs. Gehlen has high expectations of the collaboration with Noble, saying “This is a unique step in the history of Van Houtum.”

The Know-How of a Strategic Partner

The joint venture partner, United States-based Noble Environmental Technologies, has invested ten years of research and commercialization in advancing the ECOR technology and manufacturing process to make superior building materials, that cost less and are made from waste. “We know all about fiber, pulp and paper” said Gehlen, “but not how to make building materials. That is the knowledge and expertise of our partner, Noble.”

Eric Logtens, CEO of Noble BeNeLeux, said “ECOR has been in sold in Europe for several years now. We built the first manufacturing facility in Serbia, where cellulose fiber waste has been converted into ECOR panels. Our ambition has been to build an ECOR facility in the Netherlands and throughout Europe with strategic regional partners, like Van Houtum.”

They will begin producing ECOR this Spring in town of Swalmen, where an ECOR R&D facility will begin manufacturing these materials. Then in early 2018, the large scale production facility will be operating alongside the current paper manufacturing operation.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The English translation of this article was done internally by Noble Environmental Technologies, with minor edits for accuracy, clarity and readability.

 


 

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