Going green: sustainability a top focus in beauty acquisitions

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Sustainability a top focus in beauty acquisitions

Related tags Organic monitor Sustainability Cosmetics Henkel

Green acquisitions are on the rise in the beauty and personal care industry, and research company Organic Monitor believes this is set to continue.

Commenting on Unilever’s recent acquisition of Seventh Generation - which came hot on the heels of its purchase of the Dollar Shave Club this summer - Organic Monitor noted that it believes the enthusiasm for taking on green and sustainable brands shows no sign of letting up.

The organisation “predicts the trend to continue as large multinationals look to build a foothold in sustainable product industries”​, it explains.

“The trend of green acquisitions is spreading from the food, personal care to home care industries.”

Deals in detail

Unilever is not the only multinational tapping into the trend: SC Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive. Estée Lauder  and L’Oréal are other major companies acknowledged by Organic Monitor for proving themselves keen to buy into sustainable brands.

However, the research organisation  reckons Unilever is currently unique and ahead of the curve in its drive to develop synergy across its brands, spanning different categories.

“It previously acquired the natural skincare brand REN, expanding its international distribution. The multinational is also reportedly seeking to add Honest Company to its portfolio. By doing so, Unilever will be the first multinational to have a major presence in the organic food, natural personal care, and natural home care product industries,”​ Organic Monitor explains.

Trend ahead

According to Organic Monitor, this idea of cross-category synergy is the future for the trend, as buying into green brands will facilitate major companies to easily access neighbouring FMCG industries and improve their overall sustainability profiles.

“Multinationals will buy green brands as they look to enter fast-growing sustainable product industries. Purchasing ‘green expertise’ also helps them achieve their sustainability goals of reducing environmental and health impacts,”​ the firm explains.

“The major question however is whether the green brands will thrive or survive under their new parentage.”

Organic Monitor notes it is set to further explore these topics at the upcoming Sustainable Cleaning Products Summit and the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit.

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