Quantis latest report, Make Up the Future: Levers of change for a sustainable cosmetics business, is a call to action for beauty players to join forces to fill critical data gaps to enhance understanding of the industry’s environmental impacts. It points out the top issues the global cosmetics industry faces today and delivers a palette of science-based solutions.
Drawing on Quantis’ scientific expertise as well as concrete examples from industry sustainability leaders, including BeautyCounter, Chanel, Coty, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., French Federation for Beauty Companies (Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté - FEBEA), Groupe Rocher, L’Oréal, the Personal Care and Cosmetics Council (PCPC), among others, the report encourages sustainability managers, corporate decision-makers and their teams to:
Prioritize efforts and resources on the topics that will make a meaningful difference;
Identify opportunities for collaboration and innovation within companies and across the industry;
Collect high-quality, consistent and representative data to understand environmental impacts across the value chain;
Set bold environmental goals that will lay the foundation for resilience in a resource-constrained world; and
Accelerate industry-wide action to make up a sustainable future for cosmetics.
Lack of data
The report also takes a critical look at cosmetics’ environmental data gaps. “Data can be a major catalyst for meaningful change. For the cosmetics industry to catch up to FMCG categories more advanced on sustainability, it will need more, high-quality, comprehensive data to understand the full scale and scope of its environmental impacts,” says Quantis in a statement.
Based on currently available data, Quantis puts the contribution of the cosmetics industry to global CO2 emissions anywhere between 0.5% to 5%, highlighting the need for additional data to calculate a more complete picture of the industry’s impacts.
“What the estimated footprint data can identify, however, is that the raw materials, packaging, transportation and use phase stages are the main areas where innovative and science-backed solutions can lead to significant impact reduction,” emphasizes the consulting firm.