A Q&A with Marc Geerdens, Regional Commercial Director – Personal Care, Thor
1. Due to the understandable growing environmental concerns of today’s consumers, Thor has designed a new Microcare®Eco product range with sustainability at the heart of its mission. Can you tell us more about how this product range employs a sustainable process?
Our innovative Microcare® Eco product range is based on the biomass balance approach. In this concept fossil feedstocks are substituted by renewable raw materials at an early stage in the value chain.
2. What kind of innovative ingredients is Thor working with in order to achieve the goal of sustainability?
The biomass balance process consists of the use of renewable and circular feedstock, derived from by-products of agricultural production, crop or food processing or organic waste residues. As the already available organic feedstock is used in the process, there is no impact on the environment and therefore
a real sustainable approach.
3. We’re hearing a lot of buzz words within the cosmetic industry and often they seem to be used interchangeably. Is there a difference between ‘sustainability’ and ‘naturality’?
Yes, there is. To replace fossil based raw materials by naturally sourced ingredients was a good intention. The problem is that we have a sugar-coated view about how the plants are cultivated and where they are coming from. As soon as it comes to mass production you need huge areas of arable land that could have been rainforests or untouched land in other parts of the world. You are intensifying monocultures and in most of the cases you need fertilizers, pesticides and additional water that will have a negative impact on the environment as well. Which means that the feedstocks natural but in no way sustainable.
4. What does it take for a company to gain the trust of consumers within the Eco space?
Recent market surveys are showing that consumers are really concerned about their future environment and that sustainability is a key driver when making purchase decisions. As a cosmetic manufacturer you need to build up credibility in terms of real eco-responsible ingredients and concepts. Once you have achieved that, you will gain a positive company image because your products are recognised as innovative and eco-friendly. And finally, you will gain a competitive advantage.
5. Can you tell us what ‘100% renewable raw materials’ means exactly, and how this can be guaranteed?
As explained, the biomass balance approach is based on organic waste. The raw materials themselves, as well as the whole value chain, is monitored by a certified process. Thor Germany and all products of our Microcare Eco portfolio have been successfully audited independently by a third party. As a result, we are allowed to say that 100% of the fossil-based raw material in the value chain required for the manufacturing of the specific product was replaced by sustainably certified biomass.
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