Forward Thinking: Sustain to Gain

Sustainability—a blanket term that encompasses responsible use of resources and stewardship of the planet—is a hot topic receiving a lot of attention in the press across multiple industries. Within the fragrance and flavor industry, packaging and environmental factors such as carbon dioxide emissions, water consumption and energy efficiency, are focal points for many leading suppliers and manufacturers. This is evidenced by the recent trend for fragrance suppliers to publish sustainability reports to show their efforts and progress (see Page 34). For example, Givaudan’s 2012 report, which was measured against its 2009 baseline, showed “water efficiency had improved by 13.8%, energy efficiency up by 7.8%, and carbon dioxide emissions are down by 12.8% per metric ton of product.”

This data reflects manufacturers’ reaction to consumers’ environmental concerns. According to Nielsen’s 2011 Sustainability Survey, “Three out of four global consumers rated air pollution (77%) and water pollution (75%) as top concerns, both increasing six percentage points compared to 2009. Among other environmental and sustainability efforts manufacturers have taken, recycled packaging and energy efficient products are seen as the most broadly helpful. Eighty-three percent believe that manufacturers using recycled packaging and producing energy efficient products and appliances have a positive impact on the environment.” Eco-friendly packaging, cause marketing and better business practices are the most recognizable efforts to address sustainability as evidenced by the amount of recent market activity.

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