Aker BioMarine’s new business AION will work to make a zero-waste future a reality

Aker BioMarine is launching a new business called AION that offers products and services to companies that want to recycle waste and re-use materials.

Aker BioMarine (Oslo, Sweden) is launching a new business called AION that offers products and services to companies that want to recycle waste and re-use materials. The new venture stems from Aker’s circular initiatives that focused on plastic waste and production residues and the acquisition of a startup built by Lasse Johansen, an Aker employee. AION will be scaled through a three-stage model, recycling Aker BioMarine’s own stream of plastic and biological production residues into new products, working with Aker’s network to receive other companies’ plastic and biowaste streams, then to manage production residues globally.

“There is no waste, only resources astray. These resources need to find their way into new value chains, contributing to increased resource efficiency while creating value. AION is well positioned to play a key role in unleashing these commercial opportunities.” says Aker BioMarine’s CEO, Matts Johansen, in a press release.

AION is built on an existing value chain and is one of three Norwegian companies that is a certified B-Corp. McDonald’s is already a customer of AION, using serving trays of recycled marine plastic from the company. In addition, through a pilot project, NorgesGruppen's MENY stores have introduced AION's shopping baskets of recycled marine plastic in some of its stores, and the clothing giant Varner has also used AION’s products.

“Technology development in this segment is rapid, therefore AION's business model is technology diagnostic. We will not make large investments in fixed assets but will rather base ourselves on a value chain of solid and innovative subcontractors,” explains Johansen. “Through our American subsidiary, Lang Pharma Nutrition, we have thirty years of experience in operating such a model.”

To create future sustainable solutions and designs for circular products, the architecture company Snøhetta will be assisting AION. “Fundamental to all our work is a commitment to social and environmental sustainability,” says Snøhetta founder Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, in a press release. “Through several years of design innovation and materials research, we see a great untapped potential to maximize the resources we already have on earth today, whether it is through reuse, redesign and/or recycling. We strongly believe that through projects together with AION we can bring about real changes with major societal gains in the future, and we look forward to embarking on this exciting collaboration.”

For innovation in digitized circular concepts, AION is working with Cognite to develop the concept CaaS (Circularity as a Service). This will be a plug and play software solution for AION’s customers that ensures traceability, resource optimization and monitoring of the most central data points for sustainability reporting.

“Companies must know and understand how they affect the environment and have control over the entire value chain. To succeed in this, data must be retrieved from core systems, connected, placed in a relevant context, and made easily accessible. Cognite Data Fusion is in a unique position to realize AION's ambition in this area,” says John Markus Lervik, CEO of Cognite.

“The world is facing several environmental challenges that require solutions at the industrial level,” says Runa Haug Khoury, who will take on the role of general manager of AION and currently holds the role of sustainability director at Aker BioMarine. "Being allowed to scale up and take lead on a green commercial venture of this scope, based out of a system like Aker, is the dream job.”