BASF achieves certification for sustainable castor products, an industry first


BASF has been certified under the SuCCESS (Sustainable Castor Caring for Environmental & Social Standards) code, successfully completing the entire certification process by an external body, a first in the chemical industry, the company said.

The production site in Düsseldorf-Holthausen, Germany, is also the first site in the personal care industry to be certified. BASF has now started supplying its first sustainable castor ingredients to the personal care industry.

Sustainability in general and sustainable sourcing in particular are gaining prominence across broad sections of society and among industry stakeholders. For this reason, responsible sourcing is a key part of BASF’s sustainability strategy. With the SuCCESS certification of the Düsseldorf-Holthausen site, BASF continues to strive to create chemistry for a sustainable future,“, the company said in a statement.

Sustainable castor bean production in Gujarat, India

BASF, Arkema, Jayant Agro-Organics Ltd and the international civil society organization Solidaridad have launched the “Pragati” project [1] in May 2016 to improve working conditions, raise awareness of sustainable agriculture and increase yields through more efficient farming practices. The Pragati Project was driven by a baseline survey of over 1,000 castor growers in Gujarat, India, where the majority of the world’s castor supply originates. The aim is to support the sustainable production of castor beans to establish sustainable supply chains that, among other things, increase yields and farmers’ incomes. Since the launch of the project, over 5,800 smallholders and over 13,300 hectares of land have been certified for sustainable castor cultivation.

The SuCCESS Code is designed by several partners and stakeholders to ensure the objective of the Pragati project and to develop sustainability principles for castor seeds that will guide and enable castor growers to offer certified sustainable castor to the global market. . The SuCCESS Code has adopted 11 principles of ownership and provides smallholders with on-the-ground support to monitor and comply with 41 mandatory checkpoints and 25 non-mandatory checkpoints. Only members of the Sustainable Castor Association (SCA) who are SuCCESS certified can claim to supply sustainable castor products.

Ethical sourcing becomes the norm

As a wide range of natural ingredients are now used in cosmetics and personal care products, ethical sourcing is becoming the norm in the cosmetics industry. Cosmetic companies and raw material suppliers are investing heavily in ethical sourcing programs.

According to market research firm Ecovia Intelligence, palm kernel oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the cosmetics industry. Around 20% of palm oil is now produced in accordance with RSPO or related sustainability schemes. Major cosmetics companies, including Unilever and L’Oréal, have pledged to source only sustainable palm oil. More than 20 operators have joined the Action for Sustainable Derivatives, an industry-led collaboration that encourages the responsible production and sourcing of palm oil derivatives.

Sustainability charters and certification systems extend to other types of vegetable oils, including castor oil with the SuCCESS (Sustainable Castor Caring for Environmental & Social Standards) code and coconut oil with the Sustainable Coconut & Coconut Oil Roundtable, which introduced its first charter. in 2020.

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