'Not a trend, a responsibility': 45% of Eurofragrance suppliers have already adapted to sustainability code

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

Diana March
Diana March

Related tags Fragrance

Spanish perfume house Eurofragance has lifted the lid on its sustainability strategy and objectives after being been awarded an EcoVadis Gold Medal for its efforts.

In 2019, Eurofragance was awarded Silver Medal status by EcoVadis, a global sustainability ratings provider. But rather than see this as an achievement, it spurred the company to try harder and achieve Gold status, which it successfully achieved in late April this year.

According to Eurofragrance’s Global Director of Sustainability and Technical Compliance, Diana March, this was possible because the whole company got on board to meet the goal.

ICON programme and responsible sourcing

In late 2022, Eurofragrance introduced its ICON Programme – an initiative dedicated to improving the sustainability of the raw materials it works with to create fragrance ingredients. 

The company, which has nearly 400 employees at seven different sites across the globe, now encourages all of its employees to adhere to the code, and all of its suppliers to produce and market ingredients that have verified sustainability values, including being environmentally friendly, ethically sourced and biodegradable.

Responsible sourcing was one area we could easily improve​,” says March. “We buy essential oils from external suppliers, so we had to ensure they would collaborate with us on this. Since we introduced the programme, we have been able to improve our value chain in terms of sustainability. We made sure the whole company knew how important this was and specifically trained our procurement teams on this.”

According to March, since Eurofragrance shared its ICON code of ethics with suppliers late last year, 45% of them have already adapted to the code, while 73% of the company’s purchases adhere to the code, too.

Pioneering upcycled ingredients

The fragrance house now has numerous objectives for its raw materials in 2024, which includes ensuring it only uses sustainable palm oil.

Eurofragrance is also aiming that any material it produces should be more than 60% biodegradable within 28 days and it uses many essential oils from the food industry in its fragrances.

The company has also put a focus on more sustainable packaging and has reduced its paper consumption by 30%.

In recent years, another focus has been on upcycled ingredients. In 2021, it launched, L’Âme du Bois™, an ingredient made from leftover sawdust from the wood industry, which gives a new olfactive expression to woody notes. It’s extracted from the waste wood using a specific isolation process. No trees are cut down just to make the ingredient (as it’s leftover waste) and the wood is always FSC- (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, with reforestation policies in place.

Eurofragrance is currently in the process of developing more ingredients that can be extracted from the byproducts of other industrial processes.

Community work and lowering the carbon footprint

As well as ensuring its products are more sustainable, Eurofragrance takes part in various community projects to ensure the entire business has a strong ESG focus. As a result, the business donates to a variety of NGOs across the globe. “We asked the team for ideas on how to turn the company into a more sustainable business and this was what they suggested,”​ explains March

NGOs it supports include a charity in Turkey to help those affected by the earthquake in February, a cancer charity in Spain, another Spanish charity that focuses on biodiversity in areas devastated by fires, and an organisation that aims to offer better opportunities to children in the Philippines.

According to March, research projects will also be a focus for the company going forward. “We know that our ICON programme ensures that we are offering more sustainable products to our customers​,” she says. “Now we want to take advantage of our knowledge and promote collaborative projects with research.”

One example of this is a recent partnership with Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona. The project focused on researching two rare illnesses: primary carnitine deficiency and trimethylaminuria. Patients with these conditions suffer from extremely strong and unpleasant body odours that can severely affect their confidence. As part of the project, Eurofragrance created different fragrances in cologne, body lotion and body serum formats to counteract the unpleasant odours and help improve patients’ quality of life.

March says the business is currently working on reducing its carbon footprint to achieve the UN objective to cut CO2 emissions. It is currently in the process of finding projects to compensate for its emissions – such as planting trees or cleaning the ocean – for its Barcelona head office and sites in Mexico and Singapore. In Singapore, it says it has a particularly exciting project based around sustainable energy in the pipeline. 

“For us, it’s not a trend, it’s a responsibility​,” concludes March. “And we need the engagement of our entire community – our employees, stakeholders and top management”.

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