Aker Biomarine launches company based on circular initiative

Aion’s name comes from the Greek word for eternity

Aker BioMarine is launching Aion, a company offering products and services to companies with a desire to recycle waste and re-use materials. The company stems from circular initiatives within Aker focused on plastic waste and production residues.

Aker will scale Aion through a three-stage model. Aker's own streams of plastic and biological production residues will be recycled into new products, aiming to help the company to reach its zero-waste vision. Aion will also work through its parent company's network to receive other companies' plastic and biowaste streams. It aims to manage production residues globally and will work to scale its business model with an ambition for listing.

The world is facing several environmental challenges that require solutions at the industrial level

“There is no waste, only resources astray. These resources need to find their way into new value chains, contributing to increased resource efficiency while creating value. Aion is well positioned to play a key role in unleashing these commercial opportunities.” said Aker BioMarine’s CEO, Matts Johansen.

260 million tons of plastic waste is generated annually worldwide. The EU has set a target of 55% recycling of plastic packaging waste within 2030. This is likely to create a pull in the market for recycled products. In order to reach the target of 55% recycling rate in 2030, McKinsey predicts a market size potential of $60 billion.

“Technology development in this segment is rapid, therefore Aion's business model is technology diagnostic. We will not make large investments in fixed assets but will rather base ourselves on a value chain of solid and innovative subcontractors. Through our American subsidiary, Lang Pharma Nutrition, we have thirty years of experience in operating such a model,” said Matts Johansen.

The establishment takes place through the acquisition of a startup company built by Aker employee Lasse Johansen. Aion is one of three Norwegian companies certified B-Corp, recognised as one of the most important sustainability certifications in American retail according to Aker.

McDonald's is one of Aion's early clients, using serving trays made from recycled marine plastic. In a pilot project, NorgesGruppen's MENY stores have introduced Aion's shopping baskets of recycled marine plastic in some of its stores and clothing giant Varner has also used the company's products.

Architecture company Snøhetta assists the startup through projects to create future sustainable solutions and designs for circular products.

It’s also working with Cognite to develop a ‘circularity as a service’ concept. CaaS is aimed to be a plug and play software solution for Aion's customers to enable traceability, resource optimisation and monitoring of the most central data points for sustainability reporting. Both the service and the physical products will, in line with the ‘software as a service’ model, be accessed rather than owned.

“The world is facing several environmental challenges that require solutions at the industrial level,” said Runa Haug Khoury, who takes on the role as general manager of Aion. She currently holds the role as sustainability director at Aker BioMarine."Being allowed to scale up and take lead on a green commercial venture of this scope, based out of a system like Aker, is the dream job."

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