Sustainable Cosmetics Summit Europe: Outcome


November saw approximately 140 senior executives from the beauty industry convene in Paris for the European edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, where over a period of three days, discussions took place focusing on green formulations, sustainable sourcing, social impacts, and sustainable fragrances. 

The summit was opened by Luigi Bergamaschi, owner of L’Erbolario, with a keynote on green values and the brand’s sustainability initiatives. Other key speakers reporting on sustainability programmes included: L’Oreal which showed how it is reducing the environmental impact of its products by the eco-design approach by focusing on biodegradability and water footprint in new product formulations; Andrew Jenkins from Boots, who reported traceability and transparency as major sustainability challenges faced by personal care retailers; Rüdiger Meyer, CEO of FLOCERT, who called for more companies to use certified fairtrade ingredients to help tackle global poverty formulations, and Andrew Wallis of Unseen UK emphasising the invisibility of modern slavery in supply chains, to name but a few.  

Numerous topics were debated on during the summit which ended with a workshop on sustainability and fragrances, highlighting the green options available to cosmetic formulators and product developers. 

One of the major outcomes from the summit was that cosmetic and ingredient firms need to move from linear to circular models, whereby waste (used products and /or packaging) finds new applications. With over-reliance on landfill and marine pollution becoming major concerns, the cosmetics industry needs to move away from traditional thinking of waste if it is to become more sustainable.  

Sustainability discussions will continue in 2018 editions of the summit. 

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