Marubeni Corporation and Nordic Bioproducts Group Forge a Partnership to Collaborate on the Sustainable Utilization of Biomass

Jan. 26, 2024
Marubeni Corporation
Nordic Bioproducts Group Oy

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) and Nordic Bioproducts Group Oy (hereinafter, “NBG”) hereby announce the signing of a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (hereinafter, “MOU”) aimed at fostering a long-term collaboration on the sustainable utilization of biomass, particularly woody biomass, to reduce dependence on fossil-based resources toward a more sustainable future.


Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which are the leading contributors to global warming, are a worldwide problem. Fortunately, new technologies and industries are emerging that utilize sustainable woody biomass, known as biorefineries, to manufacture products with a reduced environmental impact.

AaltoCellTM is a method used for the hydrolyzation*1 of lignocellulosic materials to produce high-quality cellulose derivatives*2, which are essential for the production of pharmaceuticals and foods. In addition to woody biomass, the technology supports a wide range of cellulose-rich raw materials while promoting sustainable mass production at a lower cost. Moreover, it has environmentally friendly features, such as the ability to use residues generated during the manufacturing process as biofuel and utilizes a smaller carbon footprint method to produce resins and textiles that have traditionally been derived from fossil fuels and chemical intensive processes. As an example, an independent third-party assessment has shown AaltoCellTM’s potential to achieve an 80% reduction in the carbon footprint of the manufacture of cellulose derivatives compared to that of conventional methods. Through this MOU, we aim to establish a biorefinery business utilizing AaltoCellTM technology. The venture will focus on processing woody biomass, such as kraft pulp and plantation residues, sourced from Marubeni’s plantations in South Sumatra, Indonesia, covering a total project area of approximately 290,000 hectares. Above all, this collaboration signifies a broad, long-term commitment to industrial-scale cooperation between both companies.

Marubeni has formulated its “Long-Term Vision for Climate Change” to contribute to mid- to long-term efforts to combat climate change and, as part of this vision, has set a goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In addition, Marubeni has been developing industrial afforestation projects for pulp and chips in Indonesia and Australia for several decades and has recently started environmental afforestation projects through reforestation in the Philippines, Malaysia, Angola, and other areas, with the aim of generating carbon credits while contributing to environmental protection and global warming prevention. In Japan, Marubeni is also involved in forest-based J-Credit programs in Akita and Wakayama prefectures.

NBG, founded in 2019 as a spin off from Aalto University, stands as the forefront of cellulose innovation, bioproduct development, and commercialization among other Nordic countries. At the heart of its mission is a commitment to optimizing the use of renewable natural resources while reducing the world’s dependence on fossil-based resources, fostering circular solutions, and catalyzing impactful change on a global scale. As a pioneering force, the company is dedicated to introducing breakthrough technologies and biomaterials that redefine the landscape of sustainable solutions.

1 A component decomposition method where a substance is decomposed through a chemical reaction with water

2 Substances derived from cellulose that has gone through a chemical reaction


Marubeni Company Profile

Company Name: Marubeni Corporation
Head Office: 4-2, Otemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Establishment: 1949
Representative: Masumi Kakinoki
Main Business: Marubeni Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries use their broad business networks, both within Japan and overseas, to conduct importing and exporting (including third country trading), as well as domestic business, encompassing a diverse range of business activities across wide-ranging fields including lifestyle, IT solutions, food, agri business, forest products, chemicals, metals & mineral resources, energy, power, infrastructure project, aerospace & ship, finance, leasing & real estate business, construction, industrial machinery & mobility, next generation business development and next generation corporate development. Additionally, the Marubeni Group offers a variety of services, makes internal and external investments, and is involved in resource development throughout all of the above industries.
Website: https://www.marubeni.com/en/

NBG Company Profile

Company Name: Nordic Bioproducts Group Oy
Head Office: Tietotie 1, 02150 Espoo, Finland
Establishment: 2019
Representative: Olli Kähkönen (CEO)
Main Business: Development and commercialization of biomass products, biosystems, and circular innovations
Website: https://nordicbioproducts.fi/