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Sofinnova Industrial Biotech

AFYREN is ramping up its efforts to create a new path for organic waste recovery

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Industrial Biotech

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Michael Krel

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  • Collaboration with SUEZ, a leading player in circular waste solutions, aims to create value from organic waste
  • Project is in line with AFYREN’s core strategy of transforming organic waste streams into resources with real value
  • The work is part of the European AFTER-BIOCHEM project, with support from the CBE-JU

Clermont-Ferrand/Lyon, March 7th, 2024, 7:45 am CET - AFYREN, a greentech company that offers manufacturers natural, low-carbon ingredients produced using unique fermentation technology based on a completely circular model, and SUEZ, a world leader in circular solutions for water and waste management, are working together on a new way of creating value from organic waste.

At a time when nearly 20% of global food production is wasted, the importance of limiting these losses throughout the value chain and better valorizing waste streams is a fundamental challenge. Regulatory developments in France are moving in this direction. A provision of the AGEC (Anti-Waste for a Circular Economy) law on organic waste collection for private households came into effect in January 2024, while at the European level, Amended Directive 2018/851 on the circular economy is set to make this subject relevant across the EU. ADEME, the French agency for ecological transition, estimates that the average French person puts 83 kg of household organic waste in the garbage every year. The re-organization of sorting and collection systems will go a long way toward facilitating access to these flows and increasing the amount of organic waste available to be processed.

An AFYREN initiative launched with SUEZ to develop a new, complementary organic waste recovery process

Using waste from SUEZ's collection and treatment activities, AFYREN’s process for manufacturing products that can replace petroleum-derived molecules promises to offer an attractive valorization path and a concrete, circular solution to the decarbonization challenges faced by a variety of industrial sectors.

The goal of this collaboration between AFYREN and SUEZ is to develop an offer based on this solution that would be complementary to the processes currently in place in France — such as those using bio-waste as amendment or to generate methane for energy purposes. In concrete terms, SUEZ is drawing on its expertise in organic waste to identify possible sources, while AFYREN is continuing laboratory tests at its R&D facility in Clermont-Ferrand. The two players will also be working on a business model with a view to marketing the solution, provided that it meets their financial and sustainability requirements.

A project supported by the AFTER-BIOCHEM consortium

Created in 2012 and running at industrial scale since 2022, the AFYREN process is based on the natural fermentation of biomass from locally sourced co-products that do not compete with human food crops. A wide range of raw materials can be used, including co-products from the sugar industry (beet and cane), other organic co-products (soy, cane, corn, beer production) — and now also organic waste from garbage collection. AFYREN's ambition has always been to position itself using raw materials that have little or no value, with a view to creating better economics and bolstering sustainability.

For its part, thanks to this collaboration, SUEZ will be able to strengthen and diversify its range of circular solutions for organic waste recovery. Today, the group converts in France around 2 million metric tons of organic waste into compost every year; 200,000 tons are valorized as biogas in France.

This initiative marks a significant step forward in the collaboration between the two companies, initiated in 2020 as part of the AFTER-BIOCHEM consortium. It is fully aligned with Europe's ambitious policy on these subjects.

Jérémy PESSIOT Managing Director, R&D Director and co-founder of AFYREN, said: "SUEZ is a long-standing partner in the AFTER-BIOCHEM consortium, and I'm delighted to be able to move forward on this project, which is particularly close to my heart, as it is fully aligned with AFYREN’s DNA: innovate to turn waste into a valuable resource."


AFYREN is a French greentech company launched in 2012 to meet the challenge of decarbonizing industrial supplies. Its natural, innovative and proprietary fermentation technology valorizes local biomass from non-food agricultural co-products, replacing petro-sourced ingredients usually used in many product formulations. AFYREN's 100% biobased, low-carbon and sustainable solutions can meet decarbonization challenges in a wide variety of strategic sectors: human and animal nutrition, flavors and fragrances, life sciences and materials, and lubricants and technical fluids. AFYREN's plug-and-play, circular technology combines sustainability and competitiveness, with no need for manufacturers to change their processes.

The Group's first French plant, AFYREN NEOXY, a joint venture with Bpifrance's SPI fund, is located in the Grand-Est region of France, in Saint Avold, serving mainly the European market.

AFYREN is also pursuing a project in Thailand with a world leader in the sugar industry, and is developing its presence in the Americas, following up on distribution agreements it has already signed.

At the end of 2023, AFYREN employed about 120 people in Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand and Carling Saint-Avold. The company invests 20% of its annual budget in R&D to further develop its sustainable solutions.

AFYREN has been listed on the Euronext Growth® exchange in Paris since 2021 (ISIN code: FR0014005AC9, mnemonic: ALAFY).

Find out more: afyren.com


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