Henkel, L’Oréal, LVMH, Natura &Co, Unilever forming consortium for cosmetics environmental impact system

The group of five international beauty and personal care majors wanted to establish the consortium – open to all cosmetic companies to join – to co-design an industry-wide “brand-agnostic”​ way of assessing and scoring environmental impact, built around a science-based methodology. The aim was to provide consumers “clear, transparent and comparable”​ information that considered a beauty product’s entire life cycle.

A ‘robust and scientific approach’ to environmental impact assessment

The founding companies said they would pool their respective expertise and experiences to co-create the new voluntary environmental impact system for the global cosmetics industry, alongside the expertise of others that joined as well as that of sustainability consultancy Quantis – “to ensure a robust and scientific approach”​.

The voluntary system would be built around four key principles: a common method for measuring environmental impacts throughout product life cycle; a common database of environmental impacts for standard ingredients and raw materials; a common tool to calculate environmental impact per product; and a harmonised scoring system that enabled easy comparison for consumers.

Importantly, the beauty majors said the methodology, data base, tool and scoring system would be “verified by independent parties” ​and external scientists, academics and NGOs would be consulted throughout the process to “ensure the ongoing integrity of the approach”.

“…The work developed by the consortium will be published and made accessible on a strictly voluntary basis by both consortium participants and all other interested parties,” ​Henkel, L’Oréal, LVMH, Natura &Co and Unilever said.

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