DSM vitamin plant gains green thumbs-up

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carbon dioxide, Corporation

DSM's Scottish vitamin manufacturing facility has won accreditation
from a new UK-based carbon foot printing scheme that recognises
green business practises.

Its Dalry facility produces a range of vitamins and is the only site in the western world that manufactures vitamin C. The others are in China. The ability of DSM's Chinese competitors to outperform it in price has prompted the multinational giant to emphasise the quality of its offerings, and this move is in line with a strategy that has seen DSM develop Quali-Blends, an umbrella concept that ensures its ingredients are produced to high quality levels. Its vitamin C offerings are labelled Quali-C. The 50-year-old Dalroy plant was recognised by the UK Carbon Trust Standard which independently measures and reviews the environmental impact of business operations. DSM and 11 other companies including retailer Morrisons have joined the Carbon Trust's Pathfinder scheme that requires companies to "measure, manage and reduce"​ carbon emissions. Others include the university Kings College in London, water utility Thames Water and the London Fire Brigade. Real reductions ​ The scheme encourages companies to reduce emissions through operational initiatives rather than buying carbon credits as many businesses do to meet emissions targets and bolster their public image. The Carbon Trust was established by the UK government in 2001 to develop green initiatives and progress the green economy. "Achieving the Carbon Trust Standard will enable organisations to take advantage of the bottom line benefits that come from reducing carbon emissions,"​ said the chief executive officer of the Carbon Trust, Tom Delay. "It will also help brands stand out from the crowd."​ While a logo is available for end-products that meet the Carbon Trust Standard, DSM global marketing manager Martijn Adorf said the scheme was more valuable for highlighting DSM's green credentials to existing and potential business partners. "The motor vehicle industry has had to come to the table about its emissions and the food industry is next,"​ he told NutraIngredients.com. "We need to be transparent about sourcing and production and being certified by the Carbon Trust is a step toward ensuring this is the case." ​He said the use of a host of ingredients in food supplements meant it was difficult for companies to meet the Standard's on-package logo criteria. "It is difficult to control secondary sources,"​ Adorf said. "But this is a pilot scheme and we expect products containing our ingredients to bear the logo in the future." ​He said the scheme's tenets could become standard in Europe and other parts of the world. "Ultimately this is about environmental safety and quality and that is what consumers want as well as industry." ​ The current certification relates only to DSM's overall plant output, rather than production process, and Adorf said it was working to have these accredited also. Greenpeace is a supporter of the scheme and its executive director, John Sauven, said the initiative was a good starting point. "The Carbon Trust Standard marks the difference between organisations that are really reducing their own emissions and those that are greenwashing customers with hollow pledges and no action,"​ he said. "But to be truly green, business must go beyond this and significantly de-carbonise their supply chain." ​ The 12 inaugural Pathfinder members had collectively reduced carbon emissions by 8.4 per cent - or 250,000 tonnes of CO2 - over three years, the Carbon Trust said. Emily Farnworth, director of corporate engagement, The Climate Group said: "It is reassuring that our business community is ready to sign up to a performance led standard that will allow us to track progress in carbon reduction savings in the UK."​ The Carbon Trust is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and Invest Northern Ireland.

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