UPM selects Brenntag as sole European distributor of its new bio-based MEG

29 September 2023

UPM Biochemicals has selected Brenntag SE, a global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution, as sole distributor of its sustainable bio-monoethylene glycol (BioMEG) UPM BioPura™ in Europe. The new distribution agreement will bring UPM BioPura™ to market, unlocking further commercial opportunities, while accelerating the introduction of sustainable forest-sourced materials into the chemical sector.

UPM Biochemicals is committed to the sustainable transformation of the chemical industry and is actively engaging with industry partners like Brenntag to enable its acceleration. By reducing its dependency on fossil-based materials and transitioning to a more circular, low emission operating model, the chemical industry can become a key enabler in the transformation to a net zero circular economy.

“As we evaluated potential partners, we were convinced by Brenntag’s strong distribution network across Europe, as well as its commitment to engage in evolving the chemical industry’s sustainability performance,” explained Michael Duetsch, Vice President Biochemicals at UPM. “Brenntag has demonstrated that they can market, deliver and promote the advantages of more sustainable solutions. This partnership confirms the attractiveness of our portfolio and is a strong push for the commercialisation of our first-of-its-kind biorefinery in Leuna, Germany.”


Brenntag SE appoints Michael Friede to the Management Board effective April 1, 2023

From left to right: Marvin Strüfing (Director Sales Renewable Glycols, UPM Biochemicals), Christian Hübsch (Director Sales & Marketing, UPM Biochemicals), Daniel Schwarz (Director Product Management Solvents EMEA, Brenntag), Horst Rottbeck (Vice President Controlling Brenntag Essentials EMEA, Brenntag), Wolfgang Edel (Senior Manager Sustainable Products and Solutions, Brenntag) (Picture: Brenntag)

A world first

UPM is investing €1,180M to build the world’s first industrial scale biorefinery in Leuna, Germany, where sustainably sourced, certified hardwood will be converted into next generation biochemicals that will enable the vital shift away from fossil-based to renewable materials across a wide range of industries. The Leuna biorefinery is part of a broader growth area, UPM Biorefining, focused on scaling refineries producing a variety of renewable fuels and chemicals made from sustainable biomass. UPM has already signed multiple distribution agreements in the past year to market UPM BioMotion™ Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF), another product within the innovative new category of bio-based products.

UPM BioPura™ will be produced from certified hardwood obtained from regional forests around Leuna. The biomass does not compete with food resources and will provide manufacturers with a viable option to progress towards their net zero targets and significantly reduce their scope 3 emissions* by switching effortlessly from fossil-based ingredients to a renewable, drop-in solution.

“Brenntag is making significant progress towards its goal of furthering the distribution of sustainable chemicals. We are intensively field-testing new technologies to drive this change forward and are working closely with supply partners like UPM to offer our customers the best possible bio-based alternatives to established chemicals and ingredients to lower carbon emissions,” comments Wolfgang Edel, Senior Manager Sustainable Products and Solutions at Brenntag.


*The UPM life cycle assessment was carried out in accordance with ISO 14040 and based on cradle-to-gate system boundary. As the biorefinery is currently in the process of being built, the LCA will be gradually updated with primary data. The study has been critically reviewed by an independent third party according to ISO 14044.

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