PARIS — Beauty companies are forming a united front, called the EcoBeautyScore Consortium, to develop an industrywide environmental impact assessment and scoring system for cosmetics products.
Currently, 36 cosmetics and personal care companies, plus professional associations, from four continents are taking part in the consortium. They include L’Oréal, Amorepacific, The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Beiersdorf, Cosmetic Valley, Cosnova, Coty Inc., FEBEA, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, Natura & Co., Oriflame, Sisley and Unilever.
The EcoBeautyScore Consortium remains open to other companies and associations, no matter their size or resources.
The consortium comes as consumers are ever-more sustainability-minded. Forty-two percent already say they are interested in purchasing brands that focus on circular and sustainable practices, according to Capgemini Research Institute’s report “Circular Economy for a Sustainable Future,” from August to September 2021.
“With the launch of the EcoBeautyScore Consortium, we want to meet consumers’ growing demand for transparency and empower them to make informed and more sustainable consumption choices,” said Alexandra Palt, chief corporate responsibility officer of L’Oréal and chief executive officer of the Fondation L’Oréal. “We believe that it is our responsibility, as companies, to improve the environmental profile of the products we offer and to inspire consumers to take action with us.
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“While at L’Oréal, we have already taken steps to inform consumers about the environmental impact of our products, with the launch of our Product Impact Labelling system, we are convinced of the importance of cross-industry collaboration on this key issue,” she continued, referring to the group’s program introduced in June 2020, beginning with Garnier’s hair care products in France. Since then, five L’Oréal brands have launched the labeling system for two product categories, also including skin care, in 20 European countries.
“Sustainability is not a matter for competition, but rather requires companies to work together to combine knowledge, resources and reach more people,” said Palt. “Thanks to this consortium initiative, a growing number of cosmetics players will be able to release science-based information about their products’ environmental impact. We will share, with consortium members, consumer feedback received as we roll out our Product Impact Labelling in additional brands and markets, so as to feed the consortium’s work.”
The EcoBeautyScore Consortium is working with Quantis, a sustainability consultancy, to co-build the scientific methodology, which is based on four pillars. One is a common system of measuring environmental impacts throughout the lifecycle of products, which is backed by the European Union’s Product Environmental Footprint method.
There is also a common database of the environmental impact of standard ingredients and raw materials in formulas and packaging, and during a product’s use. A common tool, which is accessible to nonexperts, is for the assessment of individual products’ environmental impact.
A harmonized scoring system is being put in place, as well, so companies can voluntarily inform consumers about their cosmetics products’ environmental footprint.
The EcoBeautyScore Consortium members have been working together in themed groups and their foot-printing and scoring prototype is expected to be ready at the end of this year, starting first with environmental scoring for a selection of product categories. Independent parties will then verify the information.
“All companies will benefit from the preexisting work and are invite to contribute with their own experience,” said EcoBeautyScore, in a statement. “The consortium will also consult external experts, including scientists, academics and NGOs, to make sure the process is as inclusive as possible. The work developed by the consortium will be published and may be used on a strictly voluntary basis by both consortium participants and all other interested parties.”
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