Published 3 years ago.
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A new report published this week by sustainability consulting group Quantis maps the urgent actions that cosmetics and personal care brands must address to achieve sustainability in today’s fast-changing world.
Make Up the Future: Levers of change for a sustainable cosmetics
provides a primer on the top issues the $488 billion global cosmetics
faces today, identifies opportunities for collaboration across the industry,
and proposes a palette of solutions that will empower sustainability
mangers, corporate decision-makers and their teams to set their businesses
up for success and shape a sustainable future for cosmetics. The report is
also a call to action for beauty players to join forces to fill critical
data gaps to enhance understanding of the industry’s impacts.
In Make Up the Future, Quantis demonstrates how science-driven action
across three levels — industry, corporate and product — is critical for
shaping a sustainable future for cosmetics. The report sheds light on the
industry’s biggest challenges to help brands prioritize efforts on the
topics that will have a meaningful impact and accelerate industry-wide
action — and highlights concrete examples from industry sustainability
leaders such as BeautyCounter, Chanel, Coty, The Estée Lauder Companies
Inc., French Federation for Beauty Companies (Fédération des Entreprises de
la Beauté – FEBEA), Groupe Rocher, L’Oréal, and the Personal Care and
Cosmetics Council, among others.
Avoiding waste has become a high priority for today’s consumers — according to
35 percent of consumers would buy more skincare products, or buy them more
often, if they were packaged without plastics; and 25 percent of consumers would
buy more, or buy them more often, if the products were unpackaged — and
therefore, for more and more brands. Major brands including The Body
L’Oréal and Lush,
to name a few have been exploring ways to eliminate packaging waste through
innovations such as alternative
programs; and sometimes, eliminating packaging altogether.
Still others — such as L’Oréal’s
personal and household cleaning products, and Michelle
fragrances — have gone the Cradle to Cradle
Certified™ route, where not only the
packaging but the products themselves have been evaluated for safety, social
fairness, circularity and more.
But aside from improving their packaging footprint and the makeup of their
products, Make Up the Future outlines other key, systemic topics for the
industry to move on, including:
+ Science-based targets and planetary boundaries
+ Metrics-driven decisions and strategies
+ The power of pre-competitive collaboration
+ Product and brand transparency
“Climate change, shifting lifestyles and stakeholder expectations around
sustainability will define beauty for the next decade. The time is now to take
action to transition to a sustainable model. Indeed, it’s time to design — to
make up — the future we want for beauty and personal care,” incites Dimitri
Caudrelier, Director of Quantis France and Global Cosmetics Industry Lead,
adding, “As a first step, brands will need to assess whether they are operating
within or above our planet’s boundaries.”
Make Up the Future asserts that, for the cosmetics industry to catch up to
FMCG categories more advanced on sustainability, it will need more high-quality,
comprehensive data to understand the full scale and scope of its environmental
impacts. In an effort to shed light on key areas of impact, Quantis produced the
first full value chain environmental footprint estimate of the cosmetics and
personal care industry.
And, the report points out, just as each department contributes something different to a company’s sustainability cause, so does each market. Different regions experience
different challenges — ex: water stress, waste
management capacity, product expectations,
sustainability maturity — so, one-size-fits-all strategies are unlikely to bring about
adequate transformation. Quantis recommends that cosmetics companies consult with regional teams to develop action plans tailored
to local contexts — to ensure that efforts and
resources are focused on addressing the most
relevant impacts per region, help safeguard local supply
chains and resources, and make meaningful
strides towards a company's larger strategy.
Download the report and learn more here.
Published May 20, 2020 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST