Faurecia’s formula for low carbon footprint alternatives to animal leather
R&D teams within our Seating activity set out to explore new bio-based materials as a lower-CO2 emissions alternative to animal or PVC synthetic leather, to meet increasing interest from automakers looking for complementary trim solutions on seats and to cover surfaces of the vehicle interior such as the instrument panel, door panel or center console.
Faurecia began working in 2020 with TMG, a leader in coating materials for the automotive market. Our joint goal was to create a more environmentally friendly vinyl product from renewable and recycled materials, with a great premium quality and aesthetic appeal.
The partners combined their materials expertise to find the right formulation to achieve the optimum durability, elasticity and high-end touch and feel. Faurecia has extensive experience in the use of natural fibers such as hemp as well as recycled materials, in the creation of lightweight compounds and in cut, sew and trim expertise.
The first prototype was developed in under a year and is based on an innovative multilayer composition – one incorporating recycled PET material and another featuring hemp instead of PVC, bringing a total natural and recycled content of 15%. The first in this Ecorium range was featured by Faurecia in its seating and interiors at Auto Shanghai and IAA Transportation in 2021.
Our customers are extremely interested in new materials that support their sustainability objectives and contribute to the eco-design and reduced footprint of future vehicles. We are already in industrial testing of two new versions of Ecorium family. Reaching 55-95% non-petrol derived and recycled material content, these will cut CO2 emissions to a third compared to synthetic leather and 90% lower than animal leather.
In 2023 Ecorium will go into serial production and will be featured in seating across a range of compact to premium vehicles for a global manufacturer. This bio-based material will also be centre-stage in several new demonstrators Faurecia will be bringing to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2023.
Materials innovation offers incredible potential in the automotive industry and beyond. Ecorium is one of the new ranges within FORVIA’s innovative Sustainable Materials portfolio.
*FORVIA commits to reduce by 90% its scope 1, 2 and 3 CO2 emissions (in absolute value) by 2045 – an objective corresponding to the most ambitious standard of SBTi
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