Technological watch

Monthly news from the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI), April 2023

1) Update on the position paper on the „Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles” The Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles, as published in December 2021, is a milestone in European policy as it acknowledges the value of carbon as a feedstock and its unavoidability for certain sectors. The position paper of the RCI highlights why this is an important step in the right direction and asks policy makers for effective follow-up. While a significant part of European policy is already focused on reducing emissions, this initiative by the Commission focuses on two other strategic elements, which is to keep carbon in a loop as long as possible to avoid carbon accumulating in the atmosphere and to increase removals for those emissions from fossil sources that will not be avoidable by 2050. 

The RCI has updated this highly relevant position paper, originally published in November 2022, to reflect on developments of the last year and call more strongly for implementation of this communication – especially with a view on the currently hotly discussed revision of the PPWD/PPWR. Policy asks in the paper are:

  • Implement the increased vision for non-fossil carbon content in chemicals and materials in a legally binding target
  • Recognise bio-based and CO2-based content as equal to recycled content in the revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD/PPWR)
  • Recognise advanced recycling technologies
  • Recognise the importance of mitigation by capturing emissions at source for use or storage
  • Renewable carbon must become a guiding principle for policies and targets
  • Carbon management needs to become an integral part of all policies and targets
  • Enable the transformation of biofuel plants into chemical suppliers
  • Support the transformation of existing chemical infrastructure from fossil to renewable carbon
  • Promote market access for products based on renewable carbon
Find out more at:

2) Conference on CO2-based Fuels and Chemicals on 19-20 April 2023 in Cologne (Maternushaus) or online RCI partnered up with the Conference on CO2-based Fuels and Chemicals, which took place on 19-20 April 2023 in Cologne!
The conference has developed into a unique meeting and networking place for the entire Carbon Capture & Utilisation (CCU) and Power-to-X industry and its customers. More than 245 participants from 30 countries across the world attended the Innovation Award ceremony. 

The “Best CO? Utilisation 2023” Innovation Award was given to three winning CCU solutions which open the road to transition away from fossil resources. CellCO? took first place, an outstanding solution developed by the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research (DITF). By combining bio-based carbon sources and CCU, CellCO? successfully manages to incorporate two of the three pathways to renewable carbon solutions.
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3) RCI-Webinar with a focus on the RCI Carbon Flows reportDuring the last RCI webinar on 12 April 2023, approx. 35 participants joined the 1.5 hours long session. The webinar (presentation available free of charge on the RCI website) had a focus session on the latest report of the RCI, the so-called RCI Carbon Flows report. 

The Carbon Flows report is a compilation of supply and demand of fossil and renewable carbon on a global and European level. It provides a comprehensive understanding of today’s carbon flows and what it means to replace fossil carbon with renewable carbon in the materials and chemicals sectors.

RCI webinars are held frequently throughout the year, explaining the renewable carbon concept, the Renewable Carbon Initiative, and focusing on recent activities and positions of the RCI. The next webinar will be held on 21 June 2023.

4) Welcoming our newest RCI memberThe LEGO Group (DK) has been sparking children’s imagination and inspiring and developing the builders of tomorrow since 1932. Today, it is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of toys.

The iconic LEGO® brick (in its present form) was launched in 1958 and has not been changed significantly since. However, over the past decade the LEGO Group has embarked on an exciting journey exploring and developing more sustainable and circular materials.

Find out more at:

Publication date: 28/04/2023

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.