Clariant: Transparency in supply chain is a “key demand”

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Clariant: Transparency in supply chain is a “key demand”
Speciality chemicals company Clariant is working to reposition itself as sustainable solutions provider and a naturals expert as demand for transparency increases in the market.

The company has come a long way since being mainly a surfactant supplier 10 years ago.  Since then, they have expanded and strengthened their portfolio to become a “top three”​ company.

Partnerships are “critical”

As sourcing for natural ingredients continue to become more complicated, their partnerships with companies with expertise in local resources and regulations have become more crucial.

Speaking to journalists at in-Cosmetics Asia, Fabio Caravieri, Global Marketing Segment Leader of personal care, said that transparency in supply chain will increasing become a focal point for consumers.

“This is the real game changer… It will be difficult, that’s why we need strong partners,”​ he said. “There are a lot of sourcing companies and products available in the market but the real differentiation is the transparency.”

Three years ago, Clariant entered into an alliance with Beraca, a provider of natural and organic certified ingredients drawn from Brazil's biodiversity, acquiring 30% of its shares in health personal care division.

The company entered another strategic partnership a year later with Biospectrum, a South Korean company that specialises in natural extracts from exotic Asian plants, in particular those found on Jeju Island.

Clariant’s latest partner is Martina Berto, an Indonesian cosmetics manufacturer with expertise in the biodiversity of Indonesia.

From these partnerships, Clariant has gleaned vital insight into ethical sourcing of ingredients. For example, said Caravieri, the company has learnt that protecting the sources starts and ends with ensuring locals reap the benefits “because this is the only way you can protect the biodiversity.”

Sustainable and functional

Caravieri said that Clariant’s sustainable vision began four years ago when the company made an internal commitment to expand their solutions while addressing key topics, including sustainability.

Since then, Clariant launched an active ingredient unit and started to work on sustainable innovations, such as GlucoTain, the firm’s sugar-based surfactant.

“GlucoTain is a game changer for us in the surfactants area. If you look at the last 10 to 15 years, no surfactant was launched in the market,”​ said Caravieri. “Main reason why we launched it is because it’s sustainable and functional. We can replace some synthetic products… like silicone without tainting the performance.”

It is for similar reasons that Clariant has launched Genadvance, a range of new speciality hair conditioning agent and a product of the company’s investment into more sustainable and high performing products.

“It’s more sustainable as it does not have the issues in terms with biodegradability like with [quaternary ammonium cations],”​ said Caravieri. “Not only does it deliver a conditioning effect, it can also replace silicones and other synthetic ingredients used.”

The new natural

Caravieri further highlights how serious Clariant takes sustainability with the company’s Portfolio Value Program (PVP).

Developed and structured by Clariant and other independent organisations, PVP is used throughout the company to evaluate the sustainability of a product. Using 36 criteria, PVP appraises three dimensions of sustainability: people, planet and performance.

“It’s quite complex and we use this tool to screen our portfolio,”​ said Caravieri. “For example, if we highlight [Genadvance], we have data on why it is more sustainable than the next best alternative in the market.”

“This tool is important because I think transparency is the key topic here,” ​continued Caravieri. “With more and more information and more complexity in the market, transparency is a key demand for consumers.”

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