Biobased building with more sustainable cable solutions

Biobased construction is on the rise. Traditional building materials are gradually giving way to materials made from natural, renewable raw materials. However, biobased installation materials are hardly available. Fortunately, Draka gives biobased  construction a new impulse with unique biobased cable solutions.  

Many building materials are made from natural resources or raw materials. Some of those resources are finite, such as minerals (clay, limestone, gravel), ores (aluminum, copper, iron) and fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, and natural gas). Other resources are renewable, in particular animal and plant sources, such as wool, maize, manure, wood, flax and hemp, so-called biomass. 

Scarcity of raw materials 

The use of finite or non-renewable raw materials for building materials has been under discussion for a long while. These building materials are becoming more expensive now that the required raw material stocks are becoming scarcer. Some stocks will be largely depleted within a few decades. In addition, there is increasing attention for the negative environmental effects, in particular CO2 emissions, due to the use of these raw materials.  

Alternative building materials needed 

Because of this scarcity and negative environmental impact, manufacturers of building materials are looking hard for alternatives based on renewable, natural raw materials. Not only to be less dependent on scarcer raw materials and to reduce the environmental impact. But also to be able to continue to guarantee the supply and affordability of their building materials. For example, Draka's Research & Development department has been working for years on the development of more sustainable cable solutions.  

What is biobased? 

Biobased building is the next (ecological foot) step on the road to circular construction. It offers promising opportunities to build climate-neutrally. Apart from all the definitions that exist of biobased, two characteristics always come back: natural and renewable. Biobased raw materials are (with sensible management) inexhaustible because they grow again and again and can be extracted again. Plants and trees remove large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere during their growth. By processing them into biobased building materials, this CO2 remains  stored for a long time and is not released.  

What are biobased building materials? 

Biobased building materials are partly or entirely made from natural, renewable raw materials. The biomass content, expressed as a percentage of the entire product weight, may therefore differ. There are various bodies that assess whether the European standards for biobased  content have been met. The term 'biobased' in itself does not say anything about other aspects such as the type(s) of biomass, the environmental performance based on an LCA or the biodegradability of the product. 

The first biobased cable solutions 

Biobased cable solutions are hardly available yet. Draka is at the forefront of this because it continuously researches the optimization of cable solutions, also in terms of quality and environmental performance. And because Draka  develops and produces the compounds for cables itself, new products are ready for the market sooner. All Draka biobased cable solutions  meet the same strict requirements (quality and safety) as its regular products. 

Draka E-LINE 

Draka introduced a dedicated portfolio of more sustainable cable solutions for low-voltage installations by the end of 2022. Draka E-LINE meets the increasing need of clients, consultants and installers for more environmentally friendly construction and installation products. The Draka E-LINE products have a reduced environmental impact compared to conventional versions. This environmental performance improvement is partly achieved by processing biobased ingredients. Draka is constantly expanding the range. Draka E-LINE currently includes the following cable solutions with biomass ingredients: 

  • Draka VD E-LINE installation wire 

  • Draka PROFIT E-LINE  pre-wired tube 

  • Draka Barnicol E-LINE resin 

Other environmental criteria 

For Draka, the use of biomass is only one important step on the road to circular construction. As part of Prysmian Group, the largest cable manufacturer in the world, Draka is doing much more to reduce the environmental impact of its products. For each product, in addition to biomass content, it also looks at the share of recycled raw materials, local production with renewable energy, sustainable packaging, zero-emission transport to customers, reuse of reels and recyclability of the product. For example, VD-E-LINE consists of 100% recycled copper and Barnicol E-LINE is also CMR and isocyanate-free and equipped with paper outer packaging. All measures together result in a significant reduction in CO 2 per product.  

Unique EcoCable label 

It is currently difficult for installers and prescribers to determine how durable a cable product is. There are no specific, certified ecolabels for the cable industry. This slows down the sustainability and CO2 reduction of electrical installations. To meet the growing demand for proof of environmentally friendly products, parent company Prysmian Group was the first cable manufacturer to develop its own EcoCable label for cabling, which is unique to the cable industry. 

According to this eco-label scheme, the products for each life stage are assessed on the basis of measurable criteria on the recyclate percentage of the raw materials used, the presence or absence of toxic ingredients, the CO 2 footprint of the raw materials and the production method, the degree of energy losses during long-term use, the CPR fire safety class and the percentage of recyclability. Only products with a relatively favorable, combined score on these criteria receive an EcoCable label. All E-LINE products carry the EcoCable label.  


Circulair Experience

In collaboration with Urban Mining Collective, Rexel, and ElektroNed, we cordially invite you to a Circular Experience on Thursday, February 1, at the Draka production site.


Various experts will enlighten you on circularity within the installation industry. In a concise, no-nonsense session packed with knowledge and innovative solutions, we provide information and insights that are immediately applicable. Whether you're an installer, technical advisor, contractor, or developer, you are warmly welcomed in Emmen.


Full program will be in Dutch.


Take a look at the retrospective video of the 2023 session included here.




1,5 mm2 and 2,5 mm2


2,5 mm2 and 2,5 + 1,5 mm2
Barnicol e-line squaree



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