Sustainable Development Goals | SDG 12

Responsible consumption and production

Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns

Symrise helps meet basic human needs for health and nutrition as well as care and well-being with its business activities. The sustainable orientation of our products and processes is a standard of quality that goes without saying – and one that we pursue consistently.

Innovation is a key driver of sustainability at Symrise. In 2012, we introduced a process for recording, assessing and managing our sustainability performance in product development. Using specific indicators based on the concept of planetary boundaries, we assess how our products and projects contribute to sustainability. A key component for efficient processes and environmentally friendly products is our systematic application of the green chemistry approach: We are constantly refining our existing products while also concentrating on process redesigns and complete overhauls incorporating green chemistry and innovative technologies. For instance, part of our integrated approach to environmental protection can be found in our new catalysis laboratory where we optimize existing chemical processes in a targeted manner using innovative catalysis methods. This encompasses, for example, the development of our own technological solutions, such as our patented SymTrap process. This procedure allows us to fully extract flavor-active components from the byproducts of raw materials processing – thereby achieving a maximum resource yield that simultaneously saves energy.

In addition, we devised a new assessment system that enables us to identify each product’s specific impact on sustainability, for example, in terms of energy consumption, CO2 emissions or water usage. This way, we and our customers can steer product development with even greater precision and optimize the end product sustainably. Currently, we cover 85 % of our global product volume this way, which allows us to compare the respective sustainability impact for over 1,250 base materials and over 1,880 raw materials. Our analysis and measurement methods were validated by an external assurance process.

We are also continuously working in other areas on further optimizing our productsʼ sustainability performance. For instance, a key focus for developing improved flavor solutions is optimizing existing agriculturally based products. At the same time, we are successfully working on integrating suitable byproducts from agricultural or food production, thereby increasing added value. Here, biotechnological approaches and new physical separation technologies are also being tested. Typical examples include already existing products made from onions, for which the entire process chain has been reevaluated – from the choice of onion type to the agricultural cultivation to processing and waste reduction. Here, Symrise is working in partnership with public research institutes and highly specialized partner companies. This radical approach brings groundbreaking possibilities. For instance, it eliminates byproducts, improves raw material efficiency and significantly reduces the carbon footprint of our products. Ever since our last “onion optimization process” in 2016, we use more than 98 % of the onion.