of about 5,700 years, so any carbons
that come from a source that is greater
then 50,000 years old will not have a
measurable amount of 14C. Petroleum-based carbon is formed from dead
plants and animals, along with exposure to the heat and pressure in the
Earth’s crust for hundreds of millions
of years. So, although petroleum may
be originally from a natural source, it is
being depleted at a much faster rate
then it can be replenished.
Stepan has organized the BCI Guide
into two market segments: personal
care and household, institutional and
industrial (HI&I) cleaning. Within each
market segment, included products
have a BCI equal to or greater than
50%, and are sorted either by BCI,
alphabetized by trade name or by
chemistry class. Also included is a
“notes” field which contains additional
information that will help differentiate
among similar chemistries, provide
product attributes and indicate additional certification information. A glossary contains all definitions used within the guide.
On the previous page is an example of
a high BCI personal care formulation
as represented in Stepan’s Biorenewable Carbon Index. The calculation is
based on the surfactant BCI only.
The personal care industry has
numerous natural and/or organic standards that may require greater detail
about ingredients used in finished formulations. For that reason, Stepan has
included the base starting material and
end processes of the products listed in
the personal care section of the guide.
Manufacturers may be using a definition of green that requires them to use
ingredients made from biorenewable
sources. For others, green ingredients
may mean that the material is readily
biodegradable, has a favorable aquatic
toxicity profile or a low VOC content.
Other manufacturers have the infrastructure to look cradle-to-cradle and
the desire to look at a full life cycle
analysis of their products. A set of
Green Chemistry principles, outlined
in the book, Green Chemistry: Theory
and Practice by Paul Anastas and John
Warner, is considered by many as a
good guide to making green products.
The authors point out that green chemistry will be achieved in incremental
improvements that move toward the
goal of perfection.
Stepan’s BCI Guide is one supplier’s
response to the demand for greater
transparency about the ingredients
that it markets. Stepan’s BCI Guide
gives formulators another tool to help
them make informed ingredient choices. View Stepan’s web-interactive BCI
Guide at www.stepan.com.
For more information or assistance
with green formulating, contact Stepan
at firstname.lastname@example.org. ;