IFRA Green Chemistry Compass

The IFRA-IOFI Sustainability Charter defines the collective framework for common sustainability actions at the flavor and fragrance sectors' levels.

To meet the IFRA-IOFI Sustainability Charter element 2.3, 'We are inspired by Green Chemistry', the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has developed the IFRA Green Chemistry Compass, a harmonized tool in a wider sustainability toolbox.

This Green Chemistry tool was developed by a team of fragrance industry subject matter experts in collaboration with Dr John Warner and education resources provider Beyond Benign.

The IFRA Green Chemistry Compass is intended to help manufacturers of fragrance ingredients of all sizes and in all geographies to integrate green chemistry principles across company platforms in the design of safer and more sustainable materials using the following approaches:

  • Incorporate Green Chemistry Principles across company platforms and the life cycle of their products, ranging from ingredient sourcing to manufacturing, and considering health and safety into all product lines.
  • Drive conscious and systematic ingredient choices that are less harmful to people and the planet.
  • Benchmark their progress towards incorporating green chemistry stay ahead of regulations that are moving towards safer products.
  • Instill a 'Safe and Sustainable by Design' mindset and gain brand recognition as applying sustainability principles in a systematic manner.

The IFRA Green Chemistry Compass is now ready to be tested by a wide range of users in an open and inclusive consultation - and which will be available on this page shortly.

You can access the Green Chemistry Compass below

About the IFRA Green Chemistry Compass

What is 'Green Chemistry'?

Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry applies across the life cycle of a chemical product, including its design, manufacture, use, and ultimate disposal. Green chemistry:

  • Prevents pollution at the molecular level
  • Is a philosophy that applies to all areas of chemistry, not a single discipline of chemistry
  • Applies innovative scientific solutions to real-world environmental problems
  • Results in source reduction because it prevents the generation of pollution
  • Reduces the negative impacts of chemical products and processes on human health and the environment
  • Lessens and sometimes eliminates hazard from existing products and processes
  • Designs chemical products and processes to reduce their intrinsic hazards

There are 12 Principles of Green Chemistry:

  1. Prevent waste: Design chemical syntheses to prevent waste. Leave no waste to treat or clean up.
  2. Maximize atom economy: Design syntheses so that the final product contains the maximum proportion of the starting materials. Waste few or no atoms.
  3. Design less hazardous chemical syntheses: Design syntheses to use and generate substances with little or no toxicity to either humans or the environment.
  4. Design safer chemicals and products: Design chemical products that are fully effective yet have little or no toxicity.
  5. Use safer solvents and reaction conditions: Avoid using solvents, separation agents, or other auxiliary chemicals. If you must use these chemicals, use safer ones.
  6. Increase energy efficiency: Run chemical reactions at room temperature and pressure whenever possible.
  7. Use renewable feedstocks: Use starting materials (also known as feedstocks) that are renewable rather than depletable. The source of renewable feedstocks is often agricultural products or the wastes of other processes; the source of depletable feedstocks is often fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, or coal) or mining operations.
  8. Avoid chemical derivatives: Avoid using blocking or protecting groups or any temporary modifications if possible. Derivatives use additional reagents and generate waste.
  9. Use catalysts, not stoichiometric reagents: Minimize waste by using catalytic reactions. Catalysts are effective in small amounts and can carry out a single reaction many times. They are preferable to stoichiometric reagents, which are used in excess and carry out a reaction only once.
  10. Design chemicals and products to degrade after use: Design chemical products to break down to innocuous substances after use so that they do not accumulate in the environment.
  11. Analyze in real time to prevent pollution: Include in-process, real-time monitoring and control during syntheses to minimize or eliminate the formation of byproducts.
  12. Minimize the potential for accidents: Design chemicals and their physical forms (solid, liquid, or gas) to minimize the potential for chemical accidents including explosions, fires, and releases to the environment.

While all 12 Principles have applications to the flavors and fragrances industry, this Compass focuses on the most common ones used: Principles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 12. These also align with the IFRA-IOFI Sustainability Pillars and the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals.

Access to the IFRA Green Chemistry Compass

How to access and use the IFRA Green Chemistry Compass

The IFRA Green Chemistry Compass is available below and at the following sharepoint link: here.