Developed after two years of collaborative research between Coty scientists, production partners and carbon recycling major LanzaTech, the high-purity sustainable ethanol was made from recycled carbon; sourced and purified from industrial carbon emissions. This offered Coty a near-zero water alternative and reduced the need for agricultural land – two aspects typically associated with traditional and current sources of ethanol from sugar cane and sugar beet.
The beauty major said the goal was to integrate the sustainable ethanol alternative into most of its fragrance portfolio by 2023, which included luxury brands like Gucci, Burberry, Chloe and Hugo Boss – a goal it was now ahead of given production had started at its Spain manufacturing facility. The first Coty fragrances made using the new ethanol would reach stores in the coming months, the company said, though which brands would run first had yet to be disclosed.
‘Ground-breaking sustainability’ that targets ‘clean and green’ ambitions
“Coty’s accelerated release of fragrances made using carbon-captured ethanol represents the ground-breaking sustainability progress that I joined Coty to lead,” said Dr Shimei Fan, Coty’s newly appointed chief scientific officer.
“This exciting step forward in Coty’s sustainability journey demonstrates our ability to meet and exceed the ambitious clean and green roadmaps we have set for the future,” Fan said.
Using the carbon-captured ethanol, trade named CarbonSmart and sourced from waste carbon monoxide gases produced by heavy industries such as steel mills and oil refineries, not only limited Coty’s impact on biodiversity but also lowered total carbon emissions related to fragrance production. This, Fan said, aligned with wider goals under Coty’s Beauty That Lasts sustainability strategy which, among other things, committed to slashing total carbon emissions across Coty’s value chain by 30% by 2030.
Sue Y. Nabi, CEO of Coty, previously said the partnership with LanzaTech was a critical one for the future. “It’s not only the right thing to do, but it makes commercial sense too – with today’s consumer rightly demanding that their favourite brands share their commitment to sustainability,” Nabi said.
Carbon capture ‘absolutely’ the future for beauty
Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, said the carbon recycling firm was proud to have made the first delivery of carbon captured ethanol to Coty ahead of schedule and was excited to watch as global distribution of fragrances using the technology rolled out, offering consumers an important choice.
In July, last year, Holmgren spoke to our sister site CosmeticsDesign in an exclusive podcast about exactly what level of opportunity carbon capture technology offered beauty manufacturers and brands that were working towards more sustainable and circular business models.
Beyond its Coty partnership, LanzaTech was also working with fellow international major L’Oréal to develop a plastic bottle made with polyethylene from captured and recycled carbon emissions – a project also involving energy giant Total. The bottle was primed for a commercial roll out in 2024.