The global company has fashioned its strategy around products and processes, and is drawing on the concept of a circular economy for its new sustainability plan. “Our evolved strategy inspires us to rethink the possibilities of sustainability within the context of a circular economy, and ultimately pave the way for transformational change – both within our industry and the broader global community,” affirms Kip Cleverley, director of global sustainability at IFF.
Looking back over 2015, the fragrance maker calls attention to three sustainability achievements: decreases in company-wide water and energy use, formal commitments to pacts like the United Nations Global Compact and the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, and top ratings in multiple CDP categories. (CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, works with business to prevent climate change.)
The full 81-page report, Creating a Sustainable Future, covers much more, including how IFF governs its sustainability practices and partnerships, how it engages stakeholders, and how it focuses on environmental matters like energy, emissions, water, and waste. “Thoughtful manufacturing means striving to deliver eco-effective flavors and fragrances to our customers,” the company notes.
Curiously, IFF opted not to report on renewable raw materials and product innovation, even though those featured into the matrix of materiality issues important to business and society that the company created following its 2014 assessment.
Yet to come
The IFF strategy for the coming years centers on “positive principles,” “regenerative products” and “sensational people,” according to the company’s press release.
A circular economy is the subtext for the new IFF strategy. If in a conventional economy products move along the supply chain like this—source, manufacture, use, trash—then in a circular economy the cycle doesn’t repeat but rather loops back on itself so what was waste is now the ‘raw’ material.
The company holds up its new fragrance PuraVida as an example of what this sort of strategy can generate. Launched just last month at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in New York City, the scent is Cradle to Cradle certified.
“Sustainability is critical to our success as a business,” Andreas Fibig, chairman and CEO of IFF tells the press, adding, that “…our focus must always be on what is next, not what we’ve done. For that reason, we have launched our ambitious new sustainability vision and strategy that we believe can create a positive and measurable difference in the world.”