Sustainability: Green is the new black

Sustainability: Green is the new black

Unilever’s got big plans for it, IFF and L’Oréal aren’t showing any signs of slowing down on it, Croda is receiving awards for it, and it’s the trend with more staying power than Chanel No5. What am I talking about? Sustainability of course.

Sustainability in all its myriad of forms is continuing to be a key marketing focus and a driver for many companies, which are setting goals for 2020. Fragrance maker IFF launched a new sustainability strategy in June this year, with Andreas Fibig, IFF Chairman and CEO stating, “Sustainability is crucial to our business.”

Crucial it is. In fact, many brands are placing a strong emphasis on implementing a stronger and more streamlined sustainability focus in the next four years, with 2020 seeming to be a key date in mind. Colgate, for example, reiterated its sustainability goals in its 2015 annual ‘Giving the World Reasons to Smile’ Sustainability Report, released in May, with that pivotal four year plan being a strong goal post.

And it seems many are looking to their manufacturers to help them achieve this. However, they needn’t worry, as it’s not just the ‘front-of-house’ faces that are committed to building a better future – simultaneously scoring a high five from their consumers and customers. Indeed, it seems that many manufacturers are doing it of their own accord.

Take Croda for example, the speciality chemicals maker has been placed not only in the top 1 percent of all chemical companies assessed by the sustainability platform EcoVadis, but in the top 1 percent of all companies full stop. And with the company taking around 70 percent of all raw materials from renewable sources, it’s forging ahead when it comes to creating sustainable chemical ingredients for use within the industry.

It’s just this type of dedication and ongoing commitment to creating environmentally friendly ingredients that will no doubt further entice the big guns that are looking to get word out there that they’re also riding the ecological wave. Because, as we all know, sustainability is nothing new, but as consumers get ever more savvy, and ever more conscious of what is going in what is going on their skin, the trend for green living, and green products, is on the up.

So what’s the future for this trend? Well it seems it’s time to go big. Cross-industry relationships are forming in order to generate maximum impact, take the DSM, AkzoNobel, Google and Phillips’ consumer-to-business energy partnership for example, while many companies are pushing for certification and applying for awards to further showcase their sustainable credentials.

And with the likes of Croda continuing its pursuit of a more natural product through a new manufacturing plant, which in this case aims for its raw materials to come from 100 percent renewable sources as opposed to the current 70 percent, it’ll be interesting to see where the sustainability goal posts get moved post the favoured 2020 deadline.