Sourcing low carbon footprint vitamin C: an eco-friendly solution

By Talking Nutrition Editors

Providing sustainable vitamin C solutions

  • DSM’s vitamin C offers food and beverage and dietary supplement manufacturers a more environmentally friendly option, supporting those in senior management and purchasing positions to meet sustainability targets.
  • DSM’s plant in Jiangshan, China, not only meets conditions set by China’s air quality requirements, but goes above and beyond these standards, achieving the production of vitamin C with the lowest carbon footprint in comparison to alternative sources in China.1
  • As a purpose-led organization, DSM is committed to more sustainable ways of working and making progress towards United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, including the reduction of carbon emissions. By going above and beyond legal regulations, DSM is helping raise industry standards for the benefit of customers, employees and the environment.


Watch the video to find out more about DSM’s sustainably produced Chinese vitamin C.

A spotlight on vitamin C

Vitamin C is used in a variety of food, beverage and supplement applications. Wider consumer demand for more sustainable products, as awareness of personal impact on the environment increases, includes products from this category too. This is one of the reasons that many senior management and purchasing departments are looking for sustainable suppliers, particularly for ingredients such as vitamin C - often associated with high carbon emissions.

Production of vitamin C in China

A stronghold for vitamin C production, it is estimated that manufacturers in China produce up to 95% of the vitamin used for supplementation and enrichment.2 However, China’s booming manufacturing industry has seen it produce more carbon emissions than any other country in the world.3 Back in 2013, the China Clean Air Action Plan was launched with the aim of cutting carbon emissions and reducing air pollution.

By early 2018, however, the development and implementation of this plan resulted in the shutdown of any production facilities that didn’t meet certain criteria on emissions. This had a knock-on effect on the production of vitamin C in China, impacting supply worldwide.

Sustainability is rising to the top of the agenda as part of the procurement process and the supplement supply chain is having to assess its environmental footprint as a result. To ensure a reliable and more sustainable supply of vitamin C, and to support efforts to improve air quality in China, DSM made important upgrades in 2019 in its plant in Jiangshan, China.

How to manufacture environmentally responsible vitamin C

Upgrades to DSM’s Jiangshan plant have delivered significant reductions in its environmental footprint, as well as improvements in quality, safety and production efficiencies. This means that those buying vitamin C for use in F&B or dietary supplement applications now have sustainable options at their fingertips.

With these improvements, DSM’s plant now produces the vitamin C with the lowest carbon footprint in China and achieves 32% lower greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to alternative sources in the country.1 In fact, buying 1,000 tonnes of the vitamin C produced in DSM’s plant in Jiangshan, instead of alternative sources in the country, would save on average 8,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions – equivalent to the entire carbon sequestered by 120,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.4

Those purchasing vitamin C can rest assured that sourcing from DSM can help to:

  • Ensure their vitamin C source is eco-friendly
  • Maintain or obtain a lower carbon and environmental footprint via a sustainable supply chain
  • Source their ingredients from a reliable and quality supplier

As a wider industry, investing in sustainable vitamin C is helping work towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as tackling climate change by reducing carbon footprints. As a purpose-led company, DSM hopes to lead the way and show that significant change is possible through collaboration and commitment to environmentally responsible ways of working.

Download the infographic to find out more about the carbon footprint of DSM’s vitamin C produced at the Jiangshan plant.

Leading the way to new industry standards

With the global population due to hit almost 10 billion by 2050, the importance of providing sustainable products with a high nutritional value will only continue to grow. We work alongside our customers to develop sustainable products that will have a positive impact on the health of this growing population, as well as a limited impact on the environment.

By investing in and improving the environmental footprint of all of its sites, DSM is setting new industry standards in sustainability.

When it comes to vitamin C, this makes us the ideal partner for helping food, beverage and supplement manufacturers meet their own specific sustainability targets, specifically in reductions in CO2 emissions.

Published on

25 September 2019


  • Vitamins
  • Food and Beverage
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Industry News
  • R&D
  • Procurement
  • Senior Management


4 min read

Related Content






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2. World Health Organization. Global Report on Diabetes. Geneva: WHO Press; 2016.

3. [Internet]. International Diabetes Federation; 2018 May 17; available from:

4. DSM. Benefits of Optimal Omega-3 Intake and Status, Nutritional Solutions White Paper; 2017.

5. [Internet]. Brussels: International Diabetes Foundation; c2018 [cited 2018 Oct 28]; available from:

6. Viswanathan M, Golin CE, Jones CD, et al. Interventions to improve adherence to self-administered medications for chronic diseases in the United States: a systematic review,’ Ann Intern Med. 2012;157(111): 785-95.


8. Lavie et al. 2009 (review), “Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Diseases“


10. DSM. Benefits of Optimal Omega-3 Intake and Status, Nutritional Solutions White Paper; 2017.

11. DSM. Benefits of Optimal Omega-3 Intake and Status, Nutritional Solutions White Paper; 2017.










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