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IFF Goes Circular with New Sustainability Strategy, Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Fragrance

Image credit: IFF

International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. (IFF), a leading producer of “sensory experiences that move the world,” has released its 2015 sustainability results in a report, Creating a Sustainable Future, and announced the launch of a new sustainability strategy centered around circular economic principles applied to three pillars: Positive Principles, Regenerative Products and Sensational People.

With its new strategy, IFF — which creates flavors and fragrances for the food, beverage, personal care and household products industries — says it is “embracing a new aspirational vision to lead positive transformational changes toward a regenerative, healthy and abundant world.”

“Sustainability is critical to our success as a business,” said Andreas Fibig, Chairman and CEO of IFF. “2015 was a testament to our progressive and forward-thinking approach as sustainable leaders within our industry and the results highlighted in our 2015 sustainability report illustrate that perfectly. But our focus must always be on what is next, not what we’ve done. For that reason, we have launched our ambitious new sustainability vision and strategy that we believe can create a positive and measurable difference in the world.”

Creating a Sustainable Future highlights milestones on the path to the new sustainability vision and strategy. 2015 accomplishments include:



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  • Year-over-year company-wide reductions in water use, energy use and greenhouse gas emission intensities
  • CDP Climate “A” List rating and a perfect score of 100 in disclosure and an “A” in performance by the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index
  • Formalized support of the United Nations Global Compact and the American Business Act on Climate Pledge

“We have made excellent progress with our current strategy over the past five years, which created the foundation for the pioneering work we are beginning to engage in today,” said Kip Cleverley, Director of Global Sustainability for IFF. “We’re rethinking the way we look at sustainability to align with the principles of a circular economy — and pioneer better ways to deliver sensory experiences that not only move the world, but enhance the health and wellbeing of people and the planet.”

In developing the new strategy, the IFF team explored the potential for circular economic models and drew inspiration from Cradle to Cradle® design thinking, which both prioritize designing products and processes for resource effectiveness, recovery and reutilization. Last month, IFF launched the first-ever Cradle to Cradle Certified™ fragrance, PuraVita™, at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in New York; the company says William McDonough, co-founder of the Cradle to Cradle methodology, was a key partner in the development of its new strategy.

"IFF's announcement of their new Cradle to Cradle Certified fragrance marks a very personal and deeply considered moment in the history of products that touch us and appeal to our senses. It is literally the moment to celebrate the sweet smell of success,” McDonough said.

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard guides designers and manufacturers through a continual improvement process that looks at a product through five categories — material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. A product receives an achievement level in each category — Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum — with the lowest achievement level representing the product’s overall mark. PuraVita, which has notes of green apple, wood, apricot and vanilla, is a proof of concept for sustainable fragrance creation. It is Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold, and IFF has earned a Platinum-level Material Health Certificate for the fragrance.

“With the introduction of its new fragrance, IFF is pioneering a whole new category of Certified products,” said Lewis Perkins, President of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. “More than a groundbreaking step for Cradle to Cradle Certified products, the fragrance demonstrates the innovation that occurs when these principles and a vision for moving beyond sustainability converge.”

IFF says it is looking ahead to more pioneering firsts, proofs of concept and innovative partnerships realized together with employees, customers, suppliers and community partners.


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