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Beauty giants join forces to create new environmental scoring system for cosmetics

Gaelle Walker
21 September 2021

Unilever, Henkel, L’Oreal, LVMH and Natura &Co have joined forces in a new global effort to co-develop an industry-wide environmental impact assessment and scoring system for cosmetics products.

The new “brand-agnostic” scoring system would provide consumers with “clear, transparent and comparable environmental impact information,” and meet growing consumer demand for “greater transparency” about the environmental impact of cosmetics products, the companies said.

The five convening companies have created a new consortium to help them in their pursuit and are actively inviting other cosmetics businesses, “regardless of their size or resources,” to join.

The new consortium will work with sustainability consultancy Quantis to ensure a robust and scientific approach and that efforts to co-build the voluntary assessment methodology and scoring system are guided by:

  • A common method for measuring environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of products.
  • A common database of environmental impacts of standard ingredients and raw materials used in formulas and packaging, as well as during product usage.
  •  A common tool that enables each brand to calculate the environmental impact of individual products, usable by non-experts.
  •  A harmonised scoring system, for example using a score ranging from A to E, that enables the consumer to easily compare products. The methodology, data base, tool and scoring system will be verified by independent parties.

The convening five companies will pool their experience and knowledge in developing environmental impact assessment methodologies (as is the case for Henkel, LVMH, Natura &Co, and Unilever) and an environmental and social labelling system (as developed by L’Oréal).

The consortium will also consult with external experts, including scientists, academics and NGOs to ensure the ongoing integrity of the approach.

Unilever Beauty & Personal Care President Sunny Jain said: "Many of us want to make more considered choices in our lives, but it’s not always easy to know the environmental impact we are making through simple things like selecting which soap to buy, or which shampoo to use.

"This is where the new consortium can make a difference. Working alongside our peer companies, we’re aiming to provide people with easy to understand, transparent and comparable information, based on a robust scientific approach. This will support the one billion people who use our Unilever Beauty & Personal Care products every day to make even more informed choices.”

 

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