Eastman Chemical Company appointed Jim McCaulley in 2006 to spearhead its initiatives in personal care and now the business manager shares his insights on sustainability.
Sustainability is one of the biggest trends driving the industry today but according to McCaulley the meaning of the term has evolved over the past few years from a finished product orientation to a more holistic approach.
McCaulley said: “Before, the focus was on a green product. Now, consumers are aware that a green end-product is not enough.
“They want to know how the products are derived, manufactured, and formulated. In short the process has to be as green as the product itself.”
Eastman has been working with this vision of sustainability for some time and in spring this year the company introduced a green biocatalytic process.
By controlling certain conditions the scientists at Eastman developed a reaction process that can be run at low temperatures and without the addition of solvents.
Eastman claims the process produces a product that is more than 90 per cent pure without the need for solvents which would otherwise need to be disposed of.
Using this green process the company has launched a natural emollient called Cetearyl Oryzanate which it bills as a natural alternative to petrolatum.
The launching of new ingredients developed in a more environmentally friendly way is not however the beginning and end of sustainability.
Looking ahead, McCaulley said the extent to which brands reduce their carbon footprint will be ‘a critical indicator of success.’
“Clearly, consistent research needs to be conducted to continue to find the most environmentally friendly ways to both produce and deliver a product to the consumer,” added McCaulley.
Sustainability is here to stay according to McCaulley but both government and private enterprise will have to be committed for significant inroads to be made.