Solar powered: Flavors & Fragrances can be more sustainable!
Our new sustainability targets
We have stepped up our sustainability ambition this year and opted for a target aimed at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of our operations in absolute value. What does this mean? No business growth at the expense of our planet. Essentially, our 2025 emissions should be lower by at least 1Mt CO2 compared to the 2017 level, at constant scope.
How? Solvay’s solutions champion Solar Energy
The Global Business Unit (GBU) Aroma Performance has committed to powering one of its main production plants with solar energy. This is a big step forward helping push the Flavors & Fragrances and the Food & Beverage industries to become more sustainable.
The Jasper Solar Power Plant is a large facility recently inaugurated in South Carolina, USA, with Solvay as one of the project’s main partners. To further develop this partnership, some of the Group’s Business Units will be the power plant’s main customers. Aroma Performance- one of the participating GBUs- pledged to buy 20% of the plant’s production, starting in 2019 and for the next 15 years. This electricity will be used to power the GBU’s facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 75% of the factory’s energy needs will be covered in this way, resulting in the reduction of its carbon emissions by 14 ktons per year.
The virtuous cycle of sustainability
The Baton Rouge plant produces synthetic vanillin, which is chiefly used in the food & beverages and the flavors & fragrances industries. These are not sectors traditionally renowned for their messages of sustainability, which is where Aroma Performance feels it can make a difference. “We are one of the first companies offering such a sustainable production approach in the flavors & fragrances industry,” says Guillaume Meunier, Global Flavors & Fragrance Market Manager at Aroma Performance. “Certain big players among our customers have made the commitment of buying 100% of their needs in renewable electricity, so we are supporting them by offering them vanillin made from renewable energy.”
This is all part of a strategy deployed by Solvay’s Business Unit to push the entire industry in the direction of renewable energy procurement. “Now that we have secured this solar power deal for our Baton Rouge plant, we want to present this concept to the customers of our customers, such as perfumers for example,” explains Guillaume.
To that end, Aroma Performance teams recently approached the French perfumers association, Prodarom: “They were very enthusiastic about this new type of initiative and want to support us,” says Vincent Rollier, Head of communications at Aroma Performance. “It’s in line with the values they want to promote.” The key idea here is that perfumers, as well as other brands and manufacturers along with them, could ask their other providers to source renewable energies as well, setting off a virtuous cycle of sustainability in an industry where this is a somewhat new approach. “Sustainable energy is not yet a key subject in the F&F industry,” confirms Guillaume, “but Solvay, as a key supplier in this field, can push things forward and serve as an example to de-carbonate raw materials in this industry.”
Solvay, as a key supplier in the field of flavors & fragrances, can push things forward and serve as an example to de-carbonate raw materials in this industry.
A future standard
There is a slight additional cost to operating a plant with green power, but Aroma Performance say they’re ready to absorb it to avoid any repercussions on the price of their products. “Our hope is that this will be an industry standard in the future”, adds Guillaume. “And as we also want to promote more natural products such as natural vanillin, renewable energy makes perfect sense as a part of this global approach.”
Fragrances produced with solar power: a positive signal Solvay is sending the industry – and a part of the Group’s strategy to cut its global carbon emissions by 1 million tons by 2025.