Being focused on natural ingredients since its foundation three decades ago, Dr Straetmans has followed the philosophy of its founder ever since. The belief that chemical ingredients for cosmetics can be produced from plant sources in a sustainable manner has been the leading principle since the early days of the company.
This focus on sustainable practice and scientific excellence has lead to a number of product innovations in the cosmetic industry. As the first ingredient supplier, Dr. Straetmans introduced a line of multifunctional additives with various cosmetic functions, among them a strong anti-microbial effect, that helps to replace conventional preservatives. A revolutionary idea at that time it quickly developed to a major trend and in the last 10 years ‘preservative-free’ formulations became and remain very common in the market.
The philosophy of innovation and sustainable acting was an essential part of Dr. Straetmans long before such ideas became mainstream – and important trends and major driving forces in the cosmetic industry. However, as the demand for sustainable practice is still on the rise, it became obvious that a project with an external project leader would help to increase the awareness for sustainability within every department of the company. Thus from the beginning of 2011 the project involved people from every department. In the process, involving external stakeholders, an analysis of the existing strategy was made. In concordance with the current view on sustainability not only the ecological impact of the business was investigated, but also social responsibility and economic factors. In particular the latter must not be neglected as the innovative power and growth of a company is the basis for a future positive impact on society and environment.
After analysing the current state, the sustainability strategy was developed, defining fields of action and focusing on so-called ‘lighthouse’ projects. In the defined fields of action the company has an action plan for improving its impact on society and the environment, i.e. acting in a (more) sustainable way. The various actions involve such different things as recycling materials, reducing water and energy consumption, optimising logistics and transportation. But also environmentally sound sourcing and the relationship with business partners and employees play an important role. Dr Straetmans thinks that fair trade in a holistic approach is important, not only reducing it to a fair sourcing of raw materials in the third world, but also to let customers participate in optimisation of materials flow and reduction of costs. Finally the employees, the essential pillar for every company’s success, are a special focus of their sustainability strategy.
Thus the work on a sustainability strategy, the company’s aims and actions have finally been completed. But this is only the beginning before a far more interesting phase. Dr Straetmans has set this strategy into practice now and are working hard on an optimisation, acting as individuals and as a company. The summary and some details are available on the company’s new website www.dr-straetmans.de