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Taking responsibility in the use of responsible resources
While raw materials become ever scarcer, the world population is growing by the minute. Although increasing the use of renewable raw materials helps to conserve finite resources, it also gives rise to new challenges—a situation that consumers are following with a watchful eye. Evonik Personal Care places great value on both ensuring the sensible use of resources and meeting the needs of ecosystems around the world in a responsible manner.
In recent years, terms such as “natural,” “plant-based,” “organic” and “vegetable-based” have become firmly established in our everyday vocabulary, most commonly in the Personal Care market. Given the assumption that a natural-based ingredient is also an environmental friendly and safe ingredient, this trend has led to a global vegetalization process in the raw materials market.
Main components of cosmetic formulations are natural-based but chemically modified ingredients used as emulsifiers, emollients, surfactants, rheological modifiers, refatters or solubilizers. 84% of our current personal care ingredients portfolio is at least partly derived from renewable substances. Hence, renewables and partial renewables accounted for more than 87% of total raw material sales in 2010. But is this the only measure of sustainability?
Responsible use of these natural feedstocks in combination with innovative technologies generates particularly high yields and efficacy. Meanwhile the environmental footprint during production or application is significantly reduced. Evonik offers a whole range of products based on these environmentally friendly technologies, with additional benefits such as exceptional purity and new sensorial profiles that make naturals more pleasant to the skin.
The product form, e.g. highly concentratedcocamidopropyl betaines, and the application profile during manufacturing, such as that of polyglycerol esters, can make all the difference. Thanks to Evonik’s eco-optimized technologies, the final formulation can therefore lead to a range of significant environmental benefits such as reduced energy input derived from a combination of lower shear rates, reduced oil phases and lower processing temperatures.
In most cases, oleochemical products such as fatty acids and fatty alcohols are used as the starting stock. Given the current discussions relating to palm oil and biodiversity considerations, the specific species of plant used can be a decisive parameter in choosing a specific ingredient, so the botanical source should be identified for and transparent to the formulator. The RSPO, Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, has been very effective in introducing better traceability in the highly complex oleochemicals supply chain, rendering it much more transparent and its operators more accountable. Evonik is a member of this organization, working hand in hand with it in order to promote the exclusive use of segregated sustainable palm oil by 2015.
As the supply chain of Palm Oil and its Derivatives is highly complex detailed information about the content, origin and certification status of products are available in the Evonik CAREtain® System. This product database improves transparency and substantiates key sustainability features of our products. As the Palm Oil Sourcing Strategy is a major part of this process. Evonik, Personal Care will launch the first set of RSPO certified products in 2014. To enhance the process a stepwise switch will take place once the supply chain is confirmed and we can secure the demand of our customers.
Biotechnologically derived raw materials as alternatives to vegetable- or petrochemical-sourced feedstocks are crucial for future raw material supplies. Evonik Personal Care intends to further strengthen its commitment to and research in oleochemical alternatives and products offering new characteristics in all phases of their lifecycle.
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