Japanese chemical and cosmetics outfit Kao Corporation has joined a $120m venture to scale and commercialise Genomatica’s plant-based alternatives to palm kernel oil, joining Unilever as a founding member.
Kao's investment adds to Geno's previously announced $120M venture with Unilever and increases the production capability of the palm kernel oil alternative.
As responsibly sourced palm oil and its derivatives will continue to be a critical feedstock to Kao, the venture will support Kao in manufacturing more sustainable, biotechnology-driven ingredients for use in home and personal care products, and supplying palm oil alternatives derivatives to its business customers, and to increase the transparency and traceability of its supply chain.
“Geno's biotechnology has a vital role to play in the diversification of sustainable raw material procurement,” said Masahiro Katayose, Kao’s senior executive officer in charge of its chemical business.
“Kao's investment in this venture will make possible the provision of new eco-chemical solutions and represents an opportunity for Kao to play an even bigger role in helping consumers, customers, industry and society to realize decarbonization and make the shift to a resource-circulating economy,” he added.
Genomatica chief executive Christophe Schilling said: “We’re excited to welcome Kao as a founding member to our palm kernel oil alternative venture along with Unilever.
“Kao joining this venture is another example of Geno collaborating with world-leading brands and value-chain partners to commercialise sustainable solutions at scale that support traceable and responsible sourcing.”