Monday, June 8, 2009

Session2 report: Building a Framwork for Environmentally Preferable Product Recognition

Based on the tone from earlier technical session, I expected some moments of nerd rage during the second session of the Sustainable Fragrance 2009 for Cleaners. It was very civil although I started to detect "cradle washing" when guidelines/ standards for biodegradation were self declared.

CREATING SUSTAINABLE FRAGRANCES: A PERFUMER'S VIEW, Steve Schuh, Director Fragrance R&D, Bell Flavors & Fragrances

Perfumers are the most expert members of a Fragrance firm. Except for a few unique individuals, they need to be surrounded by other organizational disiplines to help shape policy, procedures and guidance. Mr. Schuh seemed to grasp the latter issues and did not focus solely on needs. 

He described the project assessment stages to identify key customers, the potential for a sustainable technical response and what needs to be done for current projects and forward thinking needs. Specifically an internal company culture must be developed.

Steve did mention an analysis of their client mix and only 0.5% of Bell's projects during 2008 requested an "eco" guided technical request. That small amount did reflect an increase of 5% over 2007. Natural blend submissions were 12.5% of all technical service requests.

Mr. Schuh also brought with him a set of demonstration perfume oil samples that reflected the odor change if an existing formula needed modification from eco-like material restrictions. Although the end-use was not specifically mentioned, a revision for an I&I kitchen cleaner that had incidental direct food contact would eliminate about 50% of raw materials if the starting formula was a cucumber and green tea type compound. 

Steve highlighted that there are no guidelines known to him for Biodegradable standards. He then proposed a wish list as follows:
*continued efforts to develop replacements
*increase research for new materials using eco quality guidelines
*more unified guidelines of what is acceptable/ isn't
*increased industry involvement from SDA, IFRA and more published data 

To the Green Nose, Steve made a very fair assessment of what knowledge and tools a middle size supplier needs to service the needs of many and be expert in guiding clients to an environmentally preferable product.

EPA DESIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT (DfE) SCREEN FOR SAFER SUBSTITUTES IN FRAGRANCES, Libby Sommer, Environmental Scientist, EPA Design for the Environment

Libby walked through some of the boiler plate definitions of the DfE program and principles that guide them. One, identify; two, use transparent criteria; and three, provide a rapid response. Her message is on the website and also on the conference link in a few weeks.

More importantly, the environmental fate section is not yet completed thus effecting a very critical process stage, the Fragrance Module. It might be finished by the end of July subject to review. It was hoped when the convention program was developed to have been presented today by Libby.  It will be the corner stone for the DfE program. 


CleanGredients is typical of NGO's. They have support finical support from a foundation and sponsor/ subscribing companies. They have just passed 400 members who perform material searches of their listing. Their objective is to create enough material data for green chemistry users without compromising confidential intellectual property.

Once the module work is completed, CleanGredients will list all of the fragrance companies that have the capabilities to produce DfE fragrances. Topher is open to suggestions on how this would be the most meaningful to the formulators and Fragrance houses.


Dr. Adamson presented a very thorough paper with a complete grasp of the subject matter along with suggestions. This presentation represents a compassionate and corporate viewpoint.
Greg started by affirming his personal and considered opinion that fragrance materials are very safe and not just for water but air and soil.

He does feel that better communication might solve the misunderstandings over sustainability because it is always evolving and could mean about anything. But he stated it is not about marketing but solid scientific positioning that includes balance; lifestyle thinking; chemistry; and managing perception. 

Greg also stated their is enough data for QSAR modeling, just build the models early in the process. He would like to see from Givaudan and other suppliers more efficient process chemistry; high impact odor molecules; environmental testing on biodegradability; reduction or reclaimed solvents; renewable feed stocks and waste reduction; upfront regulatory and toxicology. These are his safest options.

But he offered that safety in use has defined standards and sustainability and biodegradability is not yet defined. And the USA consumer is not yet convinced on any definition which includes synthetics vs naturals. Greg did vouch on naturals safety record if used in the right way. 

Greg's basic appeal was to embrace holistic science as the new paradigm. Holistic science is based on the phenomenon of inter-connectiveness at all levels. 

When I summarize, this is one of the presentations worthy of comment.

EVALUATING FRAGRANCES IN CERTIFICATION, Mark T. Petruzzi, VP of Certification & Strategic Relations, Green Seal

Green Seal is focused on products used in public spaces. These areas have to employ standards to protect the vulnerable. To do so Green Seal wants more disclosure for their product labeling. Mostly they go above and beyond and fragrance free is always the fall back. There is a difference between retail products of which 99% has fragrance. Whereas I&I cleaners, Green Seal's focus, more then 50% of certified products have a fragrance free variant.

Whether a product is rinsed off or leave on Green Seal is concerned about chronic inhlation  and sewage treatment standards. Naturals are of concern as 90% of the standards are ingredient based.


Bill gave a very spirited presentation that should also be downloaded when available. He drew initially the example that most folk are exposed to the EPA through the pesticide registration program. Pesticides like drugs are designed to kill therefore safety is important. In the programs like DfE the reviews are based on risk assessment. In his 30 plus years most chemicals, 40,000 tested to date, have no data. And the EPA has only 90 days to predict important properties based on chemical structure. 

Mr. Waugh talked to the future and said a program has already been road tested (beta) with select chemical companies. A demonstration is forthcoming at Givaudan's Hanover facility in the next couple of months. It is based off a PBT profiler.

The profiler has been peer reviewed and cost $100 mm in resources. It also identifies chemicals of concern. Essentially for new/ all chemicals the program finds a chemical that is close and has data on human health which starts the analysis. It is EPA's job to drive risk reduction. This is referred to as Pollution Prevention (P2). 


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