Traceability in the supply chain

Following the trends of the global chemical market, sustainable development is becoming an increasingly important part of the business strategies in companies operating in the surfactant industry.  Making good decisions that positively affect the chemical manufacturers and their environment is increasingly conditioned by non-financial factors.

Published: 20-08-2019
sustainable palm oil production

Conducting business in a transparent and responsible manner is currently one of the most important criteria for the qualification of chemical raw material suppliers for various industries.

The importance of sustainable development in industry

Why is more and more being said about sustainable approach to business and traceability in the supply chain? The universality of these concepts results from increasing problems, such as the growing number of the Earth’s inhabitants, limited natural resources, the need to save energy, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, and many other environmental and social issues. For a growing number of consumers, actual or even apparent compliance with the principles of sustainable development is one of the factors determining the purchase of many products. Manufacturers and retail chains, on the other hand, implement their own strategies, thus communicating a responsible approach to their business.

Changing global quality, environmental and social standards, growing customer requirements, and the development of modern low-carbon technologies are very important determinants of competitive edges today. The idea of sustainable development is slowly ceasing to be a fashionable trend promoted by global corporations It is becoming one of the competitive edges and macro factors directly affecting the most important sectors of the global economy.   An example here is the global market of palm oil and its derivatives. We are dealing here with the desire to achieve full raw material identification throughout the entire supply chain, from the plantation of Elaeis guineensis, from which palm oil is pressed, and ending with finished consumer goods in the form of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and many other
products of daily use.

More and more manufacturers are introducing new standards not only in matters of quality and environment management, although there are also significant changes in this respect. These include, inter alia, the use of management methods and systems ensuring the highest product quality with maximum reduction of negative impact on the environment, e.g. the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) method used in recent years  provides not only the assessment of the final result of the technological process, but  primarily enables the estimation of the consequences of the impact of individual stages of the product life cycle, or even the entire organization, on the environment. Today, sustainable, responsible business and traceability of raw materials are no longer a novelty.

In the surfactant industry in which PCC EXOL operates, the successful manufacturers can be those who offer high quality products, favourable prices, new application solutions, and above all additional non-financial values. Which are particularly important for recipients when they are global. PCC Exol operates responsibly towards the environmental matters. It invests in building a strong internal and external community that is necessary for business development. As a manufacturer of chemical products, PCC Exol is involved in the implementation of the strategy of sustainable development, which allows it to hold a stable position in business cooperation on the international stage.

Sustainable palm oil production – what makes it different?

Due to the significant and constantly growing demand for the palm oil on market, the requirement for sustainable sources that do not adversely affect the environment, society or the economy is becoming increasingly important. Sustainable aspects of raw material production are becoming crucial, especially in the chemical industry. Currently, palm oil is the most popular vegetable oil in the world.  With the growing population of our globe and the growing interest in palm oil, the demand for this raw material has never been greater than today.

At this point, “traceability” fully manifests itself. Traceability in the supply chain ensures tracking palm raw material in three certified models proposed and implemented by RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) organisation. RSPO aims to transform the market so that only palm oil from organic farming is used. Members of the organization are representatives of various environments, including growers, producers, NGOs, and companies that use palm oil and its derivatives in their operations.

The purpose of RSPO is to promote palm oil from regions that do not contribute to the reduction of natural values, and do not have a negative impact on the population associated with oil palm cultivation areas. Obtaining RSPO certification by owners or plantation managers is possible after taking actions for the protection of nature that surrounds the plantations, primary forests and endangered animal species. In addition, it is required to present an activity confirming the responsible use of water and care for oil plantation workers and the population living in nearby areas. RSPO is the first and only certification system that distinguishes palm oil products from plantations that do not contribute to the destruction of natural ecosystems, and do not adversely affect the local population or its culture and tradition.

Palm oil and its derivatives – production of surfactants

The idea of “traceability” for palm oil has already spread so much that it also includes surfactant manufacturers. Most international corporations using palm oil-based raw materials openly communicate their declaration to cooperate with suppliers who identify their products as one-hundred-percent certified throughout the entire supply chain.  Therefore, having the RSPO certificate in the MB (Mass Balance) option will be one of the key conditions for starting or continuing cooperation with surfactant suppliers.

The production of surfactants is a series of complex chemical processes properly controlled by man. In the case of both palm and coconut oil, we are dealing with a natural raw material, more or less processed in individual links of the supply chain, from plantations to numerous finished products reaching the end users.  With respect to PCC EXOL SA products, these oils have no substitutes. Considering their very wide spectrum of use, they are extremely interesting and important raw materials that are involved in the production of surfactants produced by the Company. Surfactants based on coconut oil and palm oil derivatives are found in detergents, personal hygiene products and cosmetics, as well as food products and pharmaceutical products.

Why palm oil?

As it is the most universal vegetable oil in the world, and is relatively cheap. In addition, it is used as the base for the production of chemical substances with many applications.  The main premises for mass production of palm oil are high plantation yields. Fruit harvests take place several times a year. The oil palm bears fruit all year round, and yields an average of 16 cones weighing about 40 kg.  Mills and extractor presses operating directly on the plantations show relatively low production costs with considerable efficiency. Approximately 40 tons of crude oil per day can be produced from one medium-sized extractor press.

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