The Swedish logistics company VSV Frakt and the developing company Biosorbe have started working together to help the environment. Hauliers are testing a new kind of forest-based absorbent to clean up oil spills from vehicles in a climate-smart way.
"Through the collaboration, we close the cycle for locally grown forest in a sustainable way", says Hanna Kipatsi, Sustainability Manager at VSV Frakt.
“Our customers sell forest to Rottneros, a local pulp mill, and our hauliers transport it there. At the mill, Biosorbe manufactures the absorbent and the same hauliers get to use the final product to decontaminate oil in case of leaks on the road or in the forest”, Hanna Kipatsi explains.
All three companies in the supply chain are members of Paper Province, the Swedish forest-based bioeconomy cluster. And that is where they found each other. Biosorbe has an eco-friendly innovation that cleans oil spills, Rottneros provides the raw material and production facilities, while VSV has a large vehicle fleet and several contractors perfect for testing the product.
"This product is extra powerful in wet environments because it absorbs oil but not water. It is completely unique, and we only use processes from nature's own ecosystem”, says Biosorbe's Co-founder and Sales Manager Erik Josephsson.
VSV's vehicles are already equipped with other types of absorbents. But none is made of wood or locally produced. Moreover, they are not as effective. Ten kilos of Biosorbe’s absorbent GreenAll is enough to absorb 90 to 140 litres of oil, which is several times more effective than other products on the market.
After decontamination, the oil can be reused, composted or resold as fuel for heating plants. Thanks to the absorbent’s light weight and high absorbency ability the customer can also make major savings if the residues need to be handled as hazardous waste after the decontamination.
VSV's large network of entrepreneurs and drivers is now becoming an important component in the company's own environmental work and Biosorbe's product development.
“The hauliers have solid expertise and know what is needed in the field, a better test panel can hardly be found. They are curious and enthusiastic about getting started”, says Hanna Kipatsi.
First out for testing are timber trucks and forest machines. The absorbent comes in a fluffy, paper-like form and the drivers can submit development proposals.
“The material can be formed in different ways and we want to know what is best for different industries. There is no better way for our product to grow than to test it together with our customers”, says Erik Josephsson.
“This is truly a demonstration of the power that comes from being part of a business cluster. The forest can contribute with lots of sustainable solutions and we continuously discover that fantastic results can be achieved when companies work together”, says Gunnar Hellerström, Innovation Advisor at Paper Province.
Biosorbe’s paper-like absorbent is produced by a process that combines cellulose with a number of natural components. Photo: Paper Province
Erik Josephsson (to the right) and Lars-Erik Sjögren at Biosorbe. Photo: Biosorbe
Biosorbe started in 2015. Their product GreenAll has been developed through research at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and production capacity has been developed at Rottneros pulp mill in Sunne, Sweden. The absorbent is 100 percent based on natural materials.
About VSV Frakt
VSV Frakt was founded in 1968 and manages forests, freights roundwood, soil preparations, works with biofuel, and more. The subsidiary Unite Logistics manages wood chips, shavings, bark and sawn timber shipments. The company is owned by affiliated contractors and hauliers. A total of 200 companies form VSV, with a total of 600 employees. VSV has a strong sustainability focus throughout the whole organization and is constantly working to reduce its climate and environmental impact to create a sustainable forest logistics chain.
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Paper Province is a world-leading business cluster within the forest bio-economy. We are owned and operated by more than 100 member companies. The cluster is based in Karlstad, Sweden, and mainly operates in the province of Värmland and the surrounding area, but also nationally and globally. Together with our member companies we work towards sustainable development with focus on innovation, skilled work force, internationalization and regional mobilization.