Driving change through dialogue

Jürgen, Chief Procurement Officer, discusses a new initiative for cistus labdanum gum extraction in Andalusia that reduces environmental impacts.

Cistus labdanum gum

“A good example of our ability to drive change through supplier dialogue is seen in an initiative brought to life in 2013. One of our European suppliers, Biolandes, is a major producer of cistus labdanum gum, used in perfumery. For many years this odorant resin was extracted according to time-honoured methods, by cistus harvesters.

Honouring the tradition methods of cistus harvesters

“When industrialised, the extraction process can be fraught with bad practices. Givaudan worked with Biolandes to set up a new labdanum gum extraction unit in Andalusia, Southern Spain, close to the cistus labdanum harvest area. Compared to traditional techniques, the new process significantly reduces the environmental impact of how this resin is produced, there is less manipulation of ‘risky’ products, and residual waters are reprocessed before being released.

“This collaboration with Biolandes helps to modernise a traditional supply chain and ensure its long-term sustainability for the entire industry. We are the first company to make purchases using this new method. Although we’re currently paying more for these environmentally-friendly products, there’s less cost to the planet.”