Technological watch

nova-Institute steps up policy activities to push for more renewable carbon

For many years, advocating for a more level playing field for bio-based materials has been a matter close to nova-Institute’s heart. Within the young Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI), nova has recently stepped up policy activities to advocate for the inclusion and promotion of renewable carbon in EU policy frameworks.
The current upheavals present an unprecedented chance to adapt our economy and move towards truly circular business models that re-use and recycle carbon indefinitely. A well-balanced policy framework is needed to achieve this in a reasonable timeframe that allows us to still reach the Paris climate goals.

In its position as the executive office of the RCI, nova also leads the policy working group. Over the last few months, the working group and the board of RCI have been involved in a number of consultations and stakeholder processes regarding a variety of policy initiatives. For the on-going revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, we have provided input on the question of bio-based content in packaging in addition to recycled materials, and we argue for the inclusion of CCU-based materials as well. For the policy framework on bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics, we answered the comprehensive expert questionnaire, arguing for a well-balanced policy that treats innovative bio-based plastics fairly, while not forgetting recycled and CCU-based materials as equally positive options for defossilisation. Other initiatives we are currently involved in are the public consultation on the certification of carbon removals and the transition roadmap of the chemical industry.

To establish the idea of renewable carbon and increase the visibility of the concept in the policy area, nova and RCI have also been meeting with different members of the EU institutions. The idea has been met with interest and positive reactions – especially due to the current circumstances and growing awareness for the need to reduce our dependency on fossil resources. More activities and detailed position papers on different policy initiatives are planned for the next weeks and months.

For a comprehensive explanation of our renewable carbon concept and our eleven basic policy recommendations, please see the “Renewable Carbon as a Guiding Principle for Sustainable Carbon Cycles” paper, available at:

Publication date: 03/05/2022

Author: Marion Kupfer

Bio-based News


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.