Ensuring that sustainability goes all the way back to the start of the supply chain is becoming a major focus for specialty chemicals companies and suppliers, and many players are thinking up innovative ways to ensure and showcase their sustainability credentials.
In this special on sustainability and ingredients, we take a look at some of the approaches being employed by suppliers across the industry.
Important to customers
A key motivator driving efforts among ingredients suppliers into best-practice sustainability is demand from their customers, which in turn is being driven by demand from consumers.
DSM, one supplier, has focused on its commitment to sustainability lately for precisely that reason, according to the company, and was recently picked out as the worldwide leader in the materials industry group in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.
Gaelle Bathany, Head Global Key Accounts Management DSM Personal Care, recently spoke of “the tremendous importance of sustainability for our customers, which translates into clear expectations vis-à-vis their ingredient suppliers.”
Maximising natural resources
Mibelle Biochemistry is another supplier keeping sustainability a top focus, particularly via tits PhytoCellTec™ biotechnology, used to generate and cultivate plant stem cells as ingredients.
The technology allows for large quantities of high-quality actives to be produced from a very small amount of plant material, according to the company.
“The PhytoCellTec™ technology relies on the wound healing mechanism of a plant,” Mibelle explains. “Thanks to the innovative PhytoCellTec™ technology, it is possible to even use endangered and rare plant species as a source for cosmetic ingredients.”
When it comes to visibility of sustainability, a new initiative from BASF allows its customers to easily judge the sustainability of the ingredients they select.
The ingredients supplier has set out a new process, dubbed the 'Sustainable Solution Streering' method, that ranks each of its ingredients on a three-tier basis to illustrate the level of sustainability each ingredient meets.
According to the company, it means formulators can respond with greater transparency and ease to demand for sustainability.
“The sustainability of a product is a decisive factor for making a purchase decision for a growing number of consumers,” explained Sergey Andreev, SVP for BASF's personal care division in Asia.
With sustainability now such a key focus for suppliers, achieving accreditations and coming out on top in rankings is becoming increasingly important.
Lipoid Kosmetik, supplier of botanical extracts and natural ingredients, was recently ranked in the top 1% of suppliers for sustainability by a ratings agency, EcoVadis.
“We continuously make every effort to improve our economic, environmental and social performance, in order to meet our ambitious sustainability policy, and optimally serve our customers’ needs,” the company stated, again confirming that customers are driving the demand for sustainable ingredients.