6 top sustainability challenges beauty companies need to know about

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

6 top sustainability challenges beauty companies need to know about

Related tags Sustainable cosmetics summit Cosmetics

From ‘next gen’ sustainability concerns to the key challenges facing the industry, we got the latest from head of market research firm Ecovia Intelligence.

Speaking ahead of next month’s Sustainable Cosmetics Summit (SCS) in Paris​, an event organised by Ecovia Intelligence, Amarjit Sahota responds to some of the crucial questions facing the industry regarding sustainability.

See part one below on the six top challenges in the industry.

Part two, on next generation sustainability and sustainability reporting, is live here​.

What are the major challenges facing the beauty/personal care industry regarding sustainability, and are these evolving?

From our Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, we see the cosmetics & personal care industry facing many challenges with respect to sustainability. Some of the major ones are…

  • Transparency and traceability​ in ingredient supply chains. Supply chains have become global and it is sometimes difficult to trace ingredient origins, as shown by palm oil. Although sustainable palm oil is now widely available, there remain issues of provenance and traceability.
  • Green formulations​. There is a need to switch to renewable sources for raw materials, and use more green ingredients. This is a subject often featured at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit. The palette of green raw materials is widening, however adoption rates are not increasing as high as expected.
  • Sustainable packaging​. Packaging waste is a major sustainability concern for the industry, however few companies are taking steps to reduce their packaging impacts.
  • Climate change​. There is pressure on the industry to reduce greenhouses gases, however very few companies are measuring carbon emissions, let alone taking steps to reduce or offset them.
  • Water management​. The cosmetics industry is a large user of water, in terms of production, processes, as well as finished products. However, few companies are addressing this important topic.
  • Social impacts​. Most cosmetic & personal care companies are focusing on environmental impacts, however few are looking at their social impacts. Many- like Avon and Yves Rocher – have set up foundations and / or make charitable donations. Few have gone further to create social value in their communities, and social value for their stake-holders.

The upcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit is set to tackle these key areas and more, and also features the Sustainable Beauty Awards: 6 - 8 November, Paris. More here​.

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