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In its drive to push Conscious Perfumery and fulfill its 2030 ESG ambitions – to be number one in renewable ingredients and ensure that 100% of its fragrances will be renewable by 2030 – Firmenich continues its efforts to build circular solutions with the launch of the Re:New collection. This collection of ten renewable and upcycled ingredients is powered by Sylvergreen™, Firmenich’s cutting-edge innovation program to drive transformation towards renewable ingredients. Addressing the necessity to reduce and, in time, fully stop the perfumery industry’s reliance on fossil fuels, Sylvergreen™ aims to convert existing essential fragrance ingredients, obtained through petrochemistry, into renewables derived from renewable carbon sources without any olfactive compromise. This is achieved by using more sustainable alternative technologies and guided by green chemistry principles.
“We have been pioneering unique and impactful fragrance ingredients that empower creators since 1895. With the Sylvergreen™ innovation program we are now going the extra mile following green chemistry principles to convert perfumery ingredients towards renewable versions, with the intention to minimize their environmental footprint. We are extending our legacy for the benefit of perfumers, customers, consumers and planet Earth.”
Renewable and upcycled, each of the ten ingredients in the Re:New collection fulfills these criteria. Renewable: defined by Firmenich, per ISO 16128, as ingredients that contain more than 50% carbon content from renewable resources. Both naturals and synthetic molecules can thus qualify as renewable. A renewable ingredient is a material that can be replaced in a finite amount of time, in a human time scale (meaning decades, not centuries). Firmenich’s expertise in naturals and synthetic molecules allows it to provide exceptional renewable ingredients produced from various renewable feedstock sources that replace virgin fossil carbon sources.
The ingredients of the Re:New collection are derived from pine trees. Wood is the most abundant bio-sourced feedstock on Earth and pine trees specifically grow on poor soils, where food crops cannot be grown. Pine and its extractives, bio-sourced Terpenes (and some of its unique derivatives), play an important role in the sustainable transformation of our palette to replace current fossil-based products with renewable materials, and are destined to become one of the most strategic bio-sourced raw materials. The renewable co-products of the wood or paper industries (primarily for kraft paper) are upcycled and transformed in our ingredients facilities by our expert scientists into renewable molecules following green chemistry principles.
“We have set two major targets for 2030, the first one of being number one in renewable ingredients, with 70% renewable ingredients in our palette, and to be number one in Conscious Perfumery with all of our fragrances to be renewable. This is a major innovation challenge because it cannot be achieved by using naturals alone. It would not be sustainable. So, we need to ensure that we shift to renewable sourcing for our synthetic molecules. And progress in green chemistry, as well as in biotech, will be pivotal to this shift. Modern perfumery has been striving to reproduce the beauty of natural scents through chemical synthesis, and Firmenich is a pioneer in this field. This is still our mission, and it gives us so much pride when we combine all the sustainability benefits of science with a great olfactive signature.”
Firmenich Perfumer Elise Benat, for example, wanted a fragrance with a true positive impact on the planet when she created Polo Earth by Ralph Lauren, a 97% natural origin fragrance. Polo Earth is Ralph Lauren’s first eco-friendly fragrance. Today, there is a growing need for consumers to know that ingredients respect the environment. Elise shares how she used EcoScent Compass™, Firmenichs’ digitally integrated eco-fragrance design tool, which measures the percentage of renewable ingredients in real time, as well as the environmental and social impact of the formula. “I used highly sustainable and renewable ingredients throughout the development, and these brought long lastingness, blooming and performance to the fragrance.” she says.
We are living in a time where nature and science need to work hand in hand for a sustainable future. We are reinventing perfumery as we know it, requiring us to change the fundamentals of the industry, to reduce impact and ensure feeling good also means doing good. And through this transformation towards a renewable and biodegradable palette, creativity and innovation come together to shape new paths for creation.