The term has become one of the key areas of companies’ business strategies, so much so that it has been incorporated as a must for most day-to-day activities.
And speaking during a Euromonitor podcast, Head of Beauty and Personal Care research, Irina Barbalova stated that industry initiatives to do business more responsibly, ethically and sustainably are currently driving the trend.
According to Barbalova, by incorporating sustainability initiatives companies can boost their image as well as provide a good basis for profitability.
The view of sustainability has shifted over time and now runs in parallel with efficiency. For example, if a company is reducing waste or transportation of products, then they can also be cost-saving as well.
Big players set the example
In the industry, many companies have committed themselves to achieving sustainability goals and outlined their strategies to reveal how they will realise this.
Consumer products giant Procter and Gamble has released its report claiming it will replace 25 per cent of its petroleum derived materials with sustainable materials by 202, in a bid to become more sustainable.
Likewise, Anglo-Dutch player Unilever released its report last year aiming to implement a sustainable sourcing strategy, reduce environmental impact, and ensure the health and hygiene of people across the globe, while still growing the business.
One of the ways it has done this is to purchase sustainable palm oil certificates and is looking to ensure that in the future it purchases 100 per cent sustainable palm oil.
This is a tactic many companies are looking at according to Euromonitor. Palm oil is used in a majority of personal care products, and beauty companies are becoming more committed to using RSPO certified palm oil.
“Given all the evidence in the industry at present, sustainability will remain a key issue… [and will] become a must-have for everyone in the industry,” commented Barbalova.
Consumer and media pressure
Sustainability now affects companies in a number of ways, and there is now much bigger pressure from both the consumer and the media.
There has been a massive rise in the ‘back to nature’ trend, says Barbalova, and consumers are now becoming more concerned with safety and taking a more active role as to what ingredients are used in products.
There is also pressure from the media, which comes from both sides of the coin. On the one hand, media outlets positively voice the sustainability initiatives that companies undertake, but it also challenges the industry further by publicising controversial cases or aspects.