The sweet smell of sustainability: How fragrance went eco

By Julia Wray | Published: 16-Oct-2020

From industry-wide charters to 'clean' and biodegradable formulations, the perfumery industry is paying as much attention to what goes into the bottle, as it does to the green credentials of the bottle itself

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Luxurious, seductive, transporting – there are many adjectives that fit nicely in front of the word ‘fragrance’. But sustainable?

With its ornate bottles and poetic terminology, fragrance is arguably the most fantastical branch of the beauty industry.

However, like any other sector, fragrance makers are re-evaluating their impact on the planet and its people.

Solid fragrance, in-store refill stations, recycled glass and removable screw neck actuators that facilitate refilling and recycling are just some of the fragrance packaging adaptations geared towards being greener.

But what about the juice itself and the precious aromatic ingredients that go into it? It seems there has been a recent shift change here too.

In July 2020, for example, more than 100 companies signed the new IFRA-IOFI Sustainability Charter.

This four-years-in-the-making initiative from the International Fragrance Association and the International Organization of the Flavor Industry provides a collective framework to share best practice, sustainability tools and ways to benchmark progress among the fragrance and flavour industries.

BASF was one of the companies that signed the IFRA-IOFI Charter.

“Sustainability is a top priority for the flavour and fragrance industry,” affirms Steffen Götz, Vice President, Global Sales & Business Management at BASF Aroma Ingredients.

“This naturally includes the environmental aspect. The aim of industry players is to ensure responsible sourcing throughout the value chain, reduce the industry's environmental footprint and thereby address climate change, as well as to preserve natural resources.”

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