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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
LanzaTech’s Carbon-Negative Ethanol to Help Coty Pioneer Sustainable Fragrance Production

A new partnership will see fragrance giant Coty incorporating LanzaTech’s upcycled, CarbonSmart™ ethanol, sourced from carbon capture, into its manufacturing process — with the goal of using it in the majority of its fragrance portfolio by 2023.

Coty Inc., one of the world’s largest beauty companies and a global leader in fragrances, is set to partner with carbon recycler LanzaTech to introduce sustainable ethanol made from captured-carbon emissions into its fragrance products.

LanzaTech, a leader in the production of next-generation sustainable ingredients, captures industrial emissions — such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide produced in steel manufacturing — and upcycles the waste gases into a new, more sustainable source of ethanol. Coty’s scientists have worked alongside LanzaTech and production partners over the past two years to develop a high-purity, carbon-negative ethanol that is suitable for use in fragrances.

Coty will incorporate this carbon-captured ethanol into its manufacturing process, with the goal of having the majority of its fragrance portfolio using LanzaTech’s recycled, CarbonSmart™; ethanol sourced from carbon capture by 2023.  

LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren said:

“Addressing our climate challenge requires collaboration across multiple sectors. We are proud to be developing this partnership with Coty to show that carbon recycling can enable sustainable production of fragrances. Single-use carbon must be a thing of the past; and this project exemplifies our vision of a CarbonSmart future, where consumers are able to choose products made from recycled carbon.”

Ethanol is a core ingredient in fragrance products, enabling the efficient dispersion of the scent. Coty fragrances contain ethanol sourced from a range of natural raw materials — including sugar cane and sugar beet — which use land, water and fertilizers. This new, carbon-negative ethanol utilizes near-zero water consumption and reduces the requirement for agricultural land — which, in turn, supports biodiversity. Sustainability consultancy Quantis conducted a screening life cycle assessment which shows significantly reduced overall environment impacts for Coty with the new ethanol.

“Sustainability is the ultimate driver of innovation, and Coty is focused on creating outstanding products that are truly clean and green,” said Coty CEO Sue Y. Nabi. “Ethanol is the number-one ingredient purchased for the fragrance category; and over time, this partnership with LanzaTech will significantly reduce the environmental impact of our products. It’s not only the right thing to do, it makes commercial sense, too – with today’s consumer rightly demanding that their favourite brands share their commitment to sustainability.”

LanzaTech — which won both the People’s Choice and Target Overall Winners awards at the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open in 2015 — compares its carbon-recycling technology to that of a brewery; but instead of using sugars and yeast to make beer, industrial pollution is converted by bacteria to fuels and chemicals.

The partnership with LanzaTech will be an important step for Coty as it continues its journey to becoming a more sustainable and circular business. Coty’s Beauty That Lasts sustainability strategy — which is guided by the UN SDGs — sets out a range of time-bound targets, including a 30 percent reduction in absolute CO2e emissions by 2030.

Coty’s long-term carbon savings from switching to the CarbonSmart ethanol are unclear at this point. But a spokesperson for LanzaTech said that the over 20 million gallons of carbon-negative ethanol that the company has produced to date is the equivalent of avoiding 115,000 tons of CO2.

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