Boots looks for green algae partners

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Boots is looking for partners to help develop natural ingredients
from the algae it plans to grow using the waste and heat of its own
power station.

As demand for green and natural products increases manufacturers are forced to look at the entirety of the supply chain in order to deliver sustainable personal care products that leave behind a minimal carbon footprint. Boots is working with Plymouth Marine Laboratories to produce algae for its cosmetics and toiletries using its on-site power station in Nottingham, UK. Excess heat and waste gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides produced by the power station will be used to grow algae. The project will provide Boots with a renewable source of raw materials for its products and help the company reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Not being a raw ingredients supplier, Boots is currently looking for expert partners to help it develop specific ingredients for the personal care industry. The project is part of Boots wider vision of assessing the entire production cycle and evaluating ingredients in order to reduce the environmental impact of its products. Boots spokesperson Stephen Johnson told "Unusually for a retailer we are able to look holistically at our product lifecycle and therefore work more effectively towards environmental goals. "Doing our own manufacturing enables us to control operations, trace ingredients and ultimately to develop sustainable alternatives ." ​ Talking at the Natural Beauty Summit in Paris, Johnson said Boots' approach to sustainability could also be illustrated by the company's production of sweet gale. He said Boots chose to use sweet gale as an ingredient in its personal care products because as well as being a deodorant and antioxidant it has excellent environmental credentials. The Boots spokesperson explained the company harvests sweet gale in a sustainable manner by clipping only the top 10cm of the plant therefore encouraging bushy growth and providing cover for wildlife. In October, Boots joined a growing number of major retailers with the launch of its first ever private label range of organic cosmetics. Released under the name Botanics Organic, the range contains body care products with between 90 and 100 per cent organic ingredients.

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