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Enhancing the sustainability of surfactants to cater for conscious consumers

Sustainability is no longer an abstract concept. The pursuit of sustainability may have previously been viewed as a noble endeavour; however, over the last 18 months, scenes such as the visible reduction of air pollution in Delhi1 have demonstrated the incredible, restorative force of Mother Nature. Consumers are galvanised, increasingly appreciating the importance of simplicity and smart design in contributing to the repair and protection of our planet.

Organisations and individuals are exploring how to build a more equitable world. Demand is growing for products, experiences and systems that are smarter: saving time, money and the planet. This focus on the eco-credentials of beauty and personal care products means that companies and brands must ensure that their strategies enable progress to a more sustainable future. Whether that is through naturally derived ingredients, cruelty-free claims, minimalist INCI lists, low carbon narratives or anything in between, the appetite for smarter, simpler and more sustainable solutions is increasing.

air pollution in Delhi

A staple of personal care formulations, alkoxylates have long been a ‘go-to’ for formulators around the world to provide surfactancy, emulsification or solubilisation of actives in a wide range of different formats. However, they have come under scrutiny in recent years since traditional methods to manufacture alkoxylates have used petroleum-based raw materials, seemingly placing them at odds with the growth in conscious consumerism. Our ECO range presents the perfect opportunity to overcome this hurdle, offering identical performance to the traditionally petro-derived alkoxylates with a greatly improved environmental profile.

ECO range logo and benefits

Representing the widest range of 100% renewable surfactants on the market, our ECO range are manufactured using ethylene oxide (EO) derived from bioethanol, significantly increasing their biobased content compared to traditional materials and thus with less reliance on fossil fuels. As a result, this range of ingredients meets consumer demand for performance without compromising on sustainability ideals thanks to being 100% renewable and 100% biobased. 

Furthermore, our site at Atlas Point is powered using 100% renewable electricity; sourced from the local utility companies, generated by solar panels and by using a unique installation that allows us to convert local landfill gas to electricity and steam. The latter approach allows gas to be captured at a local landfill and transported to our site via pipe, where it is then converted to electricity and steam for use in our operations. Since landfill gas is largely comprised of methane, a gas with a global warming potential 25 times greater than carbon dioxide, capturing and using this landfill gas avoids its release into the Earth’s atmosphere and mitigates its potential environmental impact.

map showing location of Atlas Point

By July 2020 we have saved the equivalent of 134,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide by burning landfill gas rather than natural gas. When combined with the reduction in the amount of methane released to the atmosphere, this has avoided the release of 1.15 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

My colleague, Christina Richardson, recently visited the team based at Atlas Point to explore how we are working to achieve our commitments to sustainability and safety on site. Our experts, Chris Barnett, Chris Hood and Jonathan Elliott talk about a lot of the activities we are undertaking at Atlas Point as part of our commitment to be Climate, Land and People positive by 2030 in the following 20 minute video:

Sustainable manufacturing at Croda's Atlas Point Site

To find out more about how we are accelerating our sustainable future, explore our ECO range of 100% biobased surfactants here or discover more about our sustainable manufacturing processes at Atlas Point and our other manufacturing facilities around the world here.

ECO Range of surfactants

1 https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/coronavirus-lockdown-is-having-a-dramatic-impact-on-indias-air-pollution-c-947259

Published by

  • Hannah Critchley Marketing Manager
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