Dow Polyurethane (PU) Systems, will collaborate with the Italian producer of polyurethane shoe soles Mondial Suole to test newly developed elastomeric polyurethane material with renewable content for use in the footwear industry. The polyurethane, containing polyols made via innovative RENUVA™ Renewable Resource Technology from Dow, incorporates 20% - 25% of raw materials derived from renewable sources. Dow and Mondial Suole plan to run preliminary customer trials by mid-2009 and to begin broad market validation process in the first quarter of 2010.
The polyurethane material is produced at Dow's Correggio site, Italy. According to the company, the new polyurethane system potentially can offer a reduction of up to 25% in fossil fuels usage and energy savings of 13%, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint of 0.7 ton CO² per ton of PU produced. The project, called "Green Footprint," was made possible by a grant from the European Commission's 2008 LIFE+ program, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of goods and services and promotes "clean," innovative technologies. Dow's proposal was selected from among 325 submissions from other European industries and institutions in the category of Environmental Policy and Governance.