Who We Are

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The Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative (SBC) is a coalition of organizations that advances the introduction and use of biobased products. We seek to replace dependence on materials made from  harmful fossil fuels with a new generation of materials made from plants. The shift we promote is more than a change of materials, however. A crucial component of this change is the opportunity to create products that are sustainable from cradle to cradle. We promote sustainability standards, practical tools, and effective policies to drive and shape the emerging markets for these products.

We are guided by a vision of an economy based on  sustainable biomaterials. We define sustainable biomaterials as:

  • sourced from sustainably grown and harvested cropland or forests;
  • manufactured without hazardous inputs and impacts;
  • healthy and safe for the environment during use;
  • designed to be reutilized at the end of their intended use, such as via recycling or composting; and
  • provide living wages and do not exploit workers or communities throughout the product lifecycle.

Our roots go back to April 2006, when representatives from businesses, NGOs, government, academia, and farmers met in Minneapolis to develop criteria and strategies for promoting the sustainability of biobased materials. This eventually led to the development of sustainability guidelines for bioplastic products as well as the creation of the SBC.

Our Steering Committee members have essential expertise in areas such as sustainable farming practices, clean production, recycling, and composting. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Clean Production Action, the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy, and the American Sustainable Business Council compose the SBC’s Steering Committee.

Our Technical Advisory Committee includes experts in lifecycle impacts of biobased plastics, company sustainability strategies, commercial waste policies, procurement, retail purchasing, and green products.

To ensure that diverse perspectives are represented, we also engage with a wide range of stakeholders including green product businesses, government officials, recycling professionals, and academics, along with advocates focused on environmental health, environmental justice, and rural communities.

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