Specialty chemical producer Rhodia, the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Ecole Normale Superieure of Lyon (ENSL) and the East China Normal University (ECNU) of Shanghai recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their scientific collaboration focused on green chemistry.
As a first step of a structured and long-term collaboration, this agreement aims to develop common research on materials and processes based on eco-design principles and renewable raw materials. Drawing on product lifecycle analysis methodology, this collaboration will help to strengthen research into innovative products such as new polymers or surfactants based on natural raw materials, and to develop new and more efficient eco-friendly catalytic processes.
Underscoring its sustainability strategy, a third of Rhodia’s sales are from products that help customers to reduce their carbon footprint; 90% of Rhodia’s major innovation projects are directly related to the challenges of sustainable development.
With a presence in China that spans 30 years, Rhodia operates one of its five major research centers in Shanghai. Opened in 2008, this laboratory employs more than a hundred researchers. Here, Rhodia develops new products that target the needs of Chinese consumers and industrial customers, especially in electronics, plastics, and formulations for personal care, home care and agricultural applications.
Structured around six Enterprises, Rhodia is the partner of major players in the automotive, electronics,flavors and fragrances, health, personal and home care markets, consumer goods and industrial markets. The Group employs around 13,600 people worldwide and generated sales of €4.03 billion (US$5.16 billion) in 2009.