Sika supports its customers with innovative, eco-efficient solutions. In the so-called biomass balance approach, renewable raw materials like bio-based naphtha and biomethane from organic waste are used as raw materials when manufacturing primary chemical products and are fed into the production. The proportion of bio-based raw materials is then arithmetically assigned to certain products according to a certified method. This attribution model is comparable with the principle of green electricity. An independent certification confirms that the initiator of the bio-mass balanced approach has replaced the quantities of fossil resources required for the biomass-balanced product sold with renewable raw materials. In addition, the certification provides the additional benefit of ensuring that sustainably sourced raw materials were used.

Contribution to Sika’s Path to Net Zero

Resins and binders are organic molecules and therefore by definition contain carbon, which at the end of life will be converted into greenhouse gases (GHG), expressed in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-eq). Binder systems are the major contributors to the global warming potential (GWP) of coating products. Typically it significantly contributes to the GWP of a product. Therefore it makes sense to focus on binder systems to reduce the Global warming potential of our coating products. 

"Biomass balance (BMB) is an important methodology that can be used in shifting the focus from fossil fuel to more sustainable solutions facilitating a biocarbon cycle, supporting a transition to a circular economy." Marcel Ras, Head Technology, Sika Nederland B.V.

Certified Processes and Suppliers

The Biomass balance approach resembles the way a company buys green electricity. By buying green electricity you make the energy company also buy electricity from renewable sources, although the electricity you receive might be a mix of all sources. All is controlled and certified by external notified bodies and therefore trustworthy. The same happens if Sika buys biomass balanced raw materials. Suppliers buy renewable feed stocks for their processes. However, the material can be bio-based, fossil-based or mix of the two. But also here allocations are in place and controlled by external bodies and certifications like REDcert or ISCC plus. Therefore, Sika can claim the sustainability benefits of the used bio-feedstock at the beginning of the process, which is also highlighted in Sika’s SPM Concept.

Sustainability and Performance

Chemically biomass balanced (BMB) raw materials are the same as the fossil-based ones and therefore can be easily used for coating solutions without reformulating. In comparison the implementation of biobased raw materials often needs R&D work because products are modified chemically and influence the properties. So this is typically not an easy drop in and leads to new products and should only be considered with new product developments or major modifications. Many of Sika suppliers embrace this approach and make BMB raw materials available to transform the chemical industry towards more sustainability. 

There are two different sustainable feed stocks our suppliers can use:

  • virgin bio-based feed stocks or 
  • waste streams bio-based feedstocks from the (food) industry. 

Some suppliers offer both or mix them, other suppliers only use the waste streams. This is the preferred option. On average a biomass balanced raw material will have a 2-3 kg CO2eq/kg lower global warming potential (GWP) in Scope 3 (categories 1+12), based on Sika's experience and data collected from suppliers to date. This can result in a reduction of GWP on product level of around 25-35%. The biomass balance raw materials for coating systems are available for almost all technologies, like epoxy, polyurethane 1K and 2K and acrylics. The application of the biomass balanced approach in coating systems, together with the effort of raw materials suppliers to reduce their own Scope 1+2 emissions, will support Sika in achieving its 2032 targets.

Certifications, EPDs and LCAs as a Prerequisite to Success

Specific Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) calculation to quantify the potential environmental impacts and benefits is a prerequisite for success. Therefore, implementing biomass balance requires LCA calculations. What looks like an easy implementation from a R&D prospective means an effort in LCA-calculations.

There are also uncertainties on market acceptance[1] of the biomass balance itself and the higher cost of the products.


Biomass balance is an important approach for coating systems to reduce Sika’s CO2eq.-footprint next to other initiatives like bio-based raw materials, high performing and low consumption products, low impact raw materials, reformulations, alternative technologies, supplier selection, data-collection and circularity.

The availability of waste bio-feedstock is limited. It is uncertain how the dynamics between supply and demand of the bio-feedstocks will develop. CTG03 (coating systems) will support people that are able to do LCA’s and will bring a few with the CTM well-chosen products on the market. This to test the reaction of the market. We will continue to try to find new BMB opportunities.

[1] Although the EU Commission recognizes the role of mass balance in the Transition Pathway for the Chemical Sector, the ECO Platform has decided not to allow mass balance in EPDs on the short term (until common methods for mass balance are approved by the EU Commission). Sika has indicated its support of the inclusion of mass balance in EPDs via industry association membership, recognizing the important role of the approach in support of climate and circularity goals.