Sustainability ‘hotspots’ for cosmetics formulation and how to respond

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sustainability ‘hotspots’ for cosmetics formulation and how to respond
How can brands determine and respond to the key issues regarding sustainability of their products and ingredients?

The issue was discussed at the recent Sustainable Cosmetics Summit European Edition in Paris.

Speaking at the event, Margarida Gama, Thinkstep, business sustainability software and services provider, explained one route to determining and responding to sustainability concerns at the ingredient level, using technology to avoid ‘greenwashing’ claims.

A materiality assessment can be conducted to determined which are the most important topics for the most relevant stakeholders, the expert explains.

Following this, a Sustainable Solution Steering approach can then be used to establish priorities between different products and topics

The cornerstone of the sustainability journey is the sustainability assessment​,” she explained, noting that using this assessment, data can be analysed to come up with clear sustainability-improving actions for any given formulation.

“In order to quantify the environmental impacts related with cosmetics products, user friendly eco-innovations can be used.​”

How does this work in practice?

Using those aspects that you have determined are relevant to stakeholders, you can assess how to improve the sustainability of specific ingredients.

It is possible to take specific products and create datasets on the ingredients (and the amounts) used in their composition.

Gama suggests the following as some example issues relevant to stakeholders include:

  • Abiotic vs. renewable resources
  • Human and labour rights
  • GWP (carbon footprint)
  • Biodiversity
  • Quality of life – effect of the product on the user (improved well being)
  • Energy use
  • Water use
  • Health and Safety
  • Eco-toxicity and biodegradability

Then, it is possible to apply ‘eco-innovation’ tools, such as those offered by Thinkstep, to the data, creating an interactive report with integrated parameters.

This can include comprehensive analysis of energy, material consumption and environmental aspects. It can also include comparison of alternatives, via scenario generation.

Using these reports, it is then possible to determine which ingredient(s) within a given product have the biggest impact for the sustainability hot topics you are looking at.

The cornerstone of the sustainability journey is the sustainability assessment​,” Gama explained, noting that using this assessment, data can be analysed to come up with clear sustainability-improving actions for any given formulation.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Pycnogenol_OralSkinCare_EN_161_WEB

Beautify your skin with Pycnogenol®

Natural Health Science | 13-Nov-2017 | Research Study

Beautify your skin with Pycnogenol®, French maritime pine bark extract. More than 20 published studies demonstrate the effectiveness of this unique antioxidant...

Sustainability: Ingredient Integrity & Impact

Sustainability: Ingredient Integrity & Impact

Croda Europe Ltd | 01-Nov-2017 | Research Study

The drive for transparency on sustainability programmes is putting increased pressures on the chemical industry to develop robust well-rounded initiatives....

Innovating for a sustainable future

Innovating for a sustainable future

Croda Europe Ltd | 01-Nov-2017

For Croda, sustainability means doing business the right way: environmentally, socially and financially. Innovation is at the fore front of our endeavours,...

Related suppliers