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Beauty Companies’ Sustainability Concerns Outlined by Organic Monitor

Among them were resource and carbon management, and contentious chemicals in personal-care product formulas.

PARIS — Resource and carbon management, and contentious chemicals in personal-care product formulas were among the key topics discussed at Organic Monitor’s summits in Paris and Hong Kong this fall.

The London-based research, consulting and training company outlined the main issues focused on during its sessions in Paris in late October and in Hong Kong in mid-November.

Alongside the better-known palm oil and polyethylene beads, there are other personal-care ingredients negatively impacting the environment. These include chemicals found in sunscreens and plastics that leak into ocean waters.

The rise of antipollution skin care was discussed at both summits. Groupe Clarins, for instance, said it had studied the impact of major pollutants outdoors and indoors for the development of its antipollution line of treatment and cosmetics products.

Resource efficiency was particularly highlighted at the Asia-Pacific region’s edition, where beauty executives emphasized the need for a greater focus on carbon footprints. South Korea’s Amorepacific, for instance, has crated the organic Osulloc Tea Garden in Jeju Island off the coast of the Korean peninsula, which absorbs 900 tons of carbon per year.

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Water stewardship was another main topic of discussion, as were sustainable ingredients. Taiwan’s O’right natural hair-care brand is using ground coffee as a raw material in product formulations, while 20 percent of the raw materials used by Hennes & Mauritz are sustainably sourced today, for instance.

Davines, the Italian hair-care company, is to open its sustainable village next year that will produce natural ingredients and generate zero waste while being powered by green energy.

The potential of biomimetics was outlined by Andrew Parker, founder and chief executive officer of Lifescaped.

Organic Monitor said an ongoing question for cosmetics companies is how they can make an even greater difference. “The industry has taken a lead in banning animal-testing methods and polyethylene beads in many parts of the world. However, can it now start creating positive social impacts?” it wrote.

Organic Monitor will hold its next summit in New York from May 4 to 5.