It all starts with the olive
Olives, lemons, creeping thistle. It’s these renewable raw materials from the Mediterranean that Milan-based ROELMI takes as starting materials to produce their range of active ingredients and additives used for personal care products and dietary supplements. The company puts special emphasis not only on innovation and outstanding quality, but also on consistently sustainable manufacturing practices.
They ripen in the southern European sunshine throughout the spring and summer, but come fall it’s harvest time for olives in Spain, Italy and France. A large proportion of the fruit goes to the food sector, but some finds its way in the production facilities of the Italian company ROELMI. “ROELMI takes advantage of the olives and olive pomace that don’t meet food-grade specifications – i.e. whatever’s not edible and would otherwise end up in the trash,” explains Steven Sander, Senior Technical Sales and Product Manager at Nordmann. “From this, the company extracts the raw materials for its Olifeel range.” And the effects are noticeable: ROELMI’s Olifeel Skin emoillent, for example, leaves skin feeling supple and improves hydration levels. Olifeel Pearls, on the other hand, is a natural oil thickener that can be used to stabilize emulsions and turn nearly any oil into a butter.
Consistently avoiding waste
ROELMI’s Olifeel range is not the only line that features upcycled products and gives new life to the byproducts of industry. The company also makes CytoFruit Waters, for example, from extracts from oranges, bergamots and other citrus fruits. In other words: the leftovers of fruit juice production. “What’s left over from juice production is a condensate that contains valuable oligominerals,” explains Sander. “ROELMI filters and purifies these condensates to produce CytoFruit Waters.” These can then be used e.g. to replace filtered mineral water in skin care products.
As part of another product line, the Italian manufacturer actively contributes to the restoration of fallow land. Its EMotion Light and EMotion Silky esters, for instance – which deliver a powdery to silky skin feel – are based on substances found in creeping thistle. “ROELMI uses this to purposefully cultivate fallow land and create habitats for many different organisms. Bees, for example.” The company then utilizes any unused biomass left over from the thistle harvest to produce energy for its manufacturing and for animal feed. Their aim is to consistently avoid waste.
Recycling, circular economy, green chemistry. To meet its ambitious corporate goals in these areas, there is a sustainability department at ROELMI. In addition, the company launched a so-called NIP program (No Impact in Progress) and received an award for it in 2021. The commitment ROELMI has shown in implementing environmentally friendly practices has also earned the company Platinum status from the sustainability rating agency EcoVadis. With a score of 75 out of a possible 100 points, ROELMI is one of the best-rated companies in its market segment when it comes to sustainability – but ROELMI would not be ROELMI if it just stopped there! In 2021, the company expanded its product range and is now involved in a joint research project together with the Italian University of Eastern Piedmont to find out how preservatives in skin care products affect the skin’s microbiome. In the next few years, ROELMI intends to defend and further expand its status as one of the most sustainable companies in the industry. The Italian manufacturer’s goal is to become the global expert for functional and active ingredients in the personal care sector.