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Sustainability summit tackles metrics, ingredients and labels

Taking place in New York on 12-14th May, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will hone in on sustainability metrics, green ingredients, and ethical labels. For the first time, the North American summit will look at the practical use of metrics to help cosmetic and ingredient firms on the green journey.

Sustainability metrics

With growing pressure on the cosmetics industry to reduce greenhouse gases, the Sustainability Metrics session will discuss approaches to measure and lower environmental impacts. Annabelle Stamm from Quantis will explain the use of lifecycle analysis to take sustainability metrics. Jonathan Maher, CSR & Sustainability Vice-President, will show how L’Oreal is using metrics in its sustainability strategy. The cosmetics multinational plans to reach 1 billion new consumers by 2020 whilst reducing its environmental footprint by 60%. McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) will discuss the use of Cradle-To-Cradle design approach to create positive impacts. Other papers will cover water footprints, packaging impacts, and going carbon-neutral.

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, New York 2015

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, New York 2015

Tom Chappell, industry veteran and the founder of Tom’s of Maine, will give a keynote on “The Future Direction of Green Products”. He will give his perspectives on future growth in the natural products industry. For many decades, Tom’s of Maine has been the premier brand of natural oral care products. However, the changing competitive landscape is limiting growth openings for some brands. Brandi Halls from Lush will share the brand’s experiences in marketing ethical cosmetics in North America. Insights will be given into some of its green initiatives, such as ‘naked packaging’ and sustainable sourcing.

Ethical labels

The Ethical Labels session will give an update on sustainability certification schemes in the cosmetics industry. Initially launched for natural & organic products, the number of labeling schemes is proliferating; new labels are being introduced that represent some sustainability aspects, such as formulations, safety, and free-from contentious ingredients. Jody Villecco from Whole Foods Market, Thomas Cluderay from the Environmental Working Group, and QAI International will be some of the panelists debating ethical labels. What developments are on the horizon: will the number continue to increase or is some level of rationalization likely?

Green Formulations

Advances in sustainable ingredients will be featured in the Green Formulations session. Ellen Kamhi, The Natural Nurse, will give details of new natural ingredients for anti-ageing, skin whitening, and related applications. Taliah Waajid will highlight the issues when developing natural products for curly hair. Although a growing demographic in the US, relatively few brands cater to consumers with curly hair. In another paper, Ashland will give details of how its new Zeta Fraction technology can be used to extract natural ingredients. Other speakers will discuss developments in bio-based surfactants and novel actives.

Foods and cosmetics convergence

The growing convergence of foods and cosmetics in the beauty industry will also be discussed. Presenting some of the key findings from her new book, Dr. Anne Marie Fine will shed some light on the food ingredients that provide skin nutrition. How can changes in one’s diet affect skin health and appearance? Paula Simpson, Beauty Nutrition & Nutricosmetics Expert, will explore the use of nutritional supplements for beauty purposes. Other speakers will look at the growing use of food ingredients in cosmetic formulations. A leading natural cosmetics brand will discuss some of the associated technical hurdles. The session will adjourn with panelists discussing the ethical dilemma of growing foods for use in cosmetic products.

The 7th North American edition of the executive summit differs from previous editions by tackling some of the wider sustainability issues in the beauty industry. “By featuring sustainability metrics, we want to show how the cosmetics industry can take practical steps to reduce their greenhouse emissions and address their energy, water and waste footprints,” comments Amarjit Sahota, President of the organizer Organic Monitor. The summit will give case studies of companies leading the way in such green initiatives.

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