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DSM in Personal Care

DSM’s vitamin E has the lowest carbon footprint in the industry

DSM, the leading supplier of vitamins for human and animal nutrition and personal care products globally, recently conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of vitamin E production. This LCA confirmed that DSM’s vitamin E production methods have the lowest carbon footprint in the industry. Now DSM customers can calculate its environmental impact for themselves.

Vitamin E: the world’s most widely used cosmetic active ingredient

First isolated in 1936, vitamin E was produced for the first time by DSM in 1938, becoming widely used for human and animal nutrition. Again, it was DSM’s research in the 1980s and 90s that discovered vitamin E’s antioxidant activity when applied to the skin. This opened the way to its development as a cosmetic ingredient. Since then, additional research has confirmed multiple activities of vitamin E in personal care applications.

Today, vitamin E is the most widely used cosmetic active, supporting skin renewal after exposure to external stressors, such as UV light. In-vitro and in-vivo studies confirm its ability to enhance moisturization and strengthen the skin barrier. Because stress consumes the skin’s natural vitamin E reservoir, it must be replenished for healthy-looking skin.

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DSM vitamin E: the lowest carbon footprint in the industry1

DSM markets several natural and synthetic forms of vitamin E. These are sold under the brand name Quali® E, which comes with the DSM Quality for LifeTM seal of excellence. DSM’s Quali® brand guarantees our vitamins meet the highest expectations for quality, reliability, traceability, and sustainability.

Given the high demand for this vitamin across multiple industries, DSM saw it as a corporate responsibility to maximize the sustainability of its supply chain and production environment.  Assessment of the impact of production was therefore a logical step.

DSM can now claim to have the lowest carbon footprint for vitamin E in the industry, as evidenced by a recent life cycle impact assessment of the synthetically produced forms. Designed to evaluate the environmental impact of vitamin E production over its complete life cycle (creation, use, end-of-life), the assessment compared vitamin E production by DSM and major alternative suppliers. It found that the DSM production method generates up to 85% less particulate matter and uses up to 60% less non-renewable energy.

How does this improve sustainability?

It’s often difficult to grasp the real world effect of sustainability innovations. What difference does it really make if 85% less particulate matter is generated, or 60% less non-renewable energy used?

To make its impact on sustainability tangible, DSM calculated that the lower carbon footprint translates to a saving of 3,200 tons of CO2 for every 100 tons of Quali® E purchased – a saving equivalent to the entire carbon sequestered by 82,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

Aline Hueber, Head of Marketing Vitamins Personal Care, comments: “Our vitamin production is under constant review for sustainability, through a program of improvement that is already delivering recognized achievements. Hence Quali® vitamins also offer our customers a great opportunity to communicate environmental and social responsibility.

As part of our ongoing commitment to reducing our global carbon footprint we regularly analyze the environmental impact of our products and processes before going on to create and implement programs for improvement. Our vitamin E carbon footprint proves we’re on the right path.”

About LCA

Life cycle impact assessment is a technique used to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages  of a product or process and its potential environmental impacts across the entire life cycle (creation, use, end-of-life) by modeling the complete system from which products are derived or in which processes and activities operate.

1. Based on DSM’s Life Cycle Assessment based on industry literature and DSM business intelligence.