Sustainability – a purpose led, performance driven approach

Ensuring transparency and traceability throughout our value chains

A purpose led, performance driven approach

At DSM Personal Care & Aroma Ingredients we want to contribute towards a brighter, sustainable future and therefore have a strategy consistent with DSM’s overall corporate sustainability goals and underpinned by purpose led activities. For example, to improve the environmental and social footprint along the lifecycle of our products we are implementing various measures to optimize our production processes, reduce our emissions and waste, and offer equitable working conditions for our suppliers: Our Alpaflor® portfolio of skin actives is testament to this.

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And as part of DSM’s strategic alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #3, to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing, we have initiated a Safer Under the Sun campaign, to make an active contribution towards skin cancer prevention.

To provide customers with transparent information about the sustainability of our products DSM cooperates with independent organizations, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Ecovadis and SEDEX. In addition to external evaluations, we have also introduced tools such as the DSM House of Naturals and the DSM Imp’ACT Card™. Both these programs enable us to measure the current sustainability footprint of ingredients against tangible criteria and to convey this information to customers. For example, as an outcome of reviewing ingredients for our House of Naturals concept, we can show that more than 45 % of DSM’s personal care portfolio is of natural origin according to the recently introduced ISO 16128 standard on definitions for natural ingredients. In the longer-term, DSM aims to roll out full transparency and traceability across all its supply chains.

UV filters: part of a wider approach to skin cancer prevention

Although skin cancer is a preventable disease, rates have been increasing for decades. According to WHO statistics, currently, between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year. In the USA meanwhile, the American Cancer Society reports that American people have a 20% chance of developing skin cancer by the age of 65. As a leading supplier of UV filters, DSM makes an important contribution to prevention of this illness. Our activities in this area are one of the key ways in which we support UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 - ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all - at all ages.

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With our unique portfolio of UV filters, emulsifiers and sensory modifiers, and through constant innovation to bring the latest sunscreen technologies to the market, DSM aims to make sunscreens both more effective and more appealing to use. This is essential because consumer studies consistently show that unpleasant sensory attributes are a key barrier to appropriate sunscreen use. But because many consumers still underestimate the power of the sun or are unaware of the dangers of UV light, DSM is also committed to educating people about the risks of UV and the benefits of applying sun protection regularly. Through our “Safer under the sun” program we aim to work with customers, consumers, governments, health authorities and NGOs to increase knowledge and understanding, harmonize SPF testing and develop legislation on sun protection worldwide. By encouraging people to make sun protection part of their daily routines we hope to take a big step towards reducing the number of people living with preventable skin cancers.

Racing to prevent skin cancer

Lifestyle changes lead to increased recreational exposure to the sun. While people do not adequately protect themselves from the sun, the risk of sun-related skin damage is increasing.  As infrequent sunscreen users, men are even at a higher risk of developing various forms of skin cancer; only 14% use sun protection daily, compared with 30% of women.

Awareness is a key battleground

To further advance the fight against skin cancer, DSM Personal Care & Aroma has been helping to raise awareness of the importance of sun protection, particularly among traditionally resistant groups such as men. As part of a wider awareness DSM Personal Care & Aroma has been working with the professional cycling team, Team Sunweb, to showcase a powerful example of men building sun protection into their daily safety routine without compromising on the activities that they are passionate about.

Over a series of race days, the riders tested DSM’s Millennials SPF 30 light texture lotion, often for hours at a time. “Our goal was to show that suncare products can be comfortable and quick and easy to apply,” says Christophe Vilain, Sun Care Application and Customer Support at PCA. “But we also wanted to demonstrate the resilience of our solution: they hold up in tough, competitive environments. The Team Sunweb project certainly did that.”

Check out why Robert Power of Team Sunweb really likes DSM’s sunscreen solution.

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The DSM Imp’ACT Card™ - making sustainability tangible for our customers

As socially and environmentally responsible cosmetic ingredients suppliers, DSM is committed to making all its products as sustainable as possible throughout the value chain. One way we are working towards this goal is with our Imp’ACT Card™ which we have introduced to measure the sustainability of our products and to provide customers with transparent product information. 

Imp’ACT Card™ are organized around four pillars of sustainability: environmental impact, social impact, traceability and identity. Environmental impact takes account of carbon emissions, biodegradability, and water footprint. Traceability covers supply chain control, with suppliers asked to sign up to the DSM Suppliers’ Code of Conduct, and certification from respected environmental organizations.  Social impact focuses on two aspects: working standards and community development, and the health and wellbeing of consumers; and external certification is used to define identity such as naturalness, which might be ISO 16128 compliance, or NatTrue and Cosmos Ecocert labeling.

To give customers extra reassurance, all DSM’s own criteria are assessed against internationally recognized benchmarks such as the SEDEX SMETA audit for ethical trade, the RSPO guidelines on palm oil use, or the European Chemical Industry Council’s Responsible Care® initiative.

At present we have produced Imp’ACT Card™ for a select number of personal care ingredients and actives, including our Quali® Vitamin E, which has the lowest carbon footprint in the industry. But we aim to extend the program to include all our products over time.

Silke Adamietz, Marketing Communication Manager PCA interviews Gaelle Bathany, Sustainability Director PCA on the new Imp’ACT Card™ methodology and how it can benefit our customers and the consumer of today.

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