“This issue is no longer a choice. Suppliers and brands should work hand in hand to fulfil their sustainability objectives,” starts Carl Allain, General Manager of Arcade Beauty Europe. Early this year, the Arcade Beauty Group’s subsidiary appointed former Quality Director Claudie Guérin Guilbaud as CSR Director Europe to formalize the actions already launched and take part in defining a new strategy.
“All perfume & cosmetics players have changed their vision. Our key accounts have all made significant CSR commitments. It will revolutionize our sector,” adds Carl Allain.
This issue is nothing new for the sample and mini-cosmetics manufacturer. But as drastic regulatory changes have been implemented and consumer preferences keep changing, it is time to speed up the process.
“Last year, Arcade Beauty Europe initiated a diagnosis for all its sites to make an update on the actions already launched, whether they focused on environmental protection, employee wellness, or our impact on communities,” explains Claudie Guérin Guilbaud. Based on the results, the company set up a strategy focused on four pillars: product compliance and innovation, purchase and business ethics, operational excellence, staff involvement and community integration.
LUCIE label and CSR scores
The company aims to get the LUCIE label by 2025 for all its industrial sites. This label is related to standard ISO 26000 on Corporate Social Responsibility and is structured around the seven key points of the standard, turned into principles of action: respect for consumers’ and clients’ interests, environmental protection, fair operating practices and responsibility, human capital development, respect for human rights, balance between the company’s and the general interest, transparent decision-making and control system.
Currently assessed by Eco Vadis, the six Arcade Beauty Europe sites already count four gold and two silver medals. The company aims for gold for all sites. Likewise, Arcade Beauty Europe is being assessed by the CDP (Carbon Discolure Program) and intends to get an AAA in 2025.
Also, Arcade Beauty will define CSR scores for all technologies and products. Based on life cycle assessments, these scores will be made available to the company’s customers, together with alternative proposals to get better scores than with the existing products.
Furthermore, the sample manufacturer has committed to improving CSR scores for every single new product: they have launched research on all technologies (bags, thermoformed products, etc.). For example, a recyclable bag is being designed and should be showcased at Luxe Pack Monaco. Similarly, the company has been launching APET PCR-based solutions and already claims being able to use 50% PCR in thermoformed products. Concrete examples will also be unveiled at Luxe Pack.
As a result, Arcade Beauty undertakes to manufacture 80% products containing recycled materials and to only offer 100% recyclable products by 2025. “It requires finding solutions based on a single material or easily separable materials,” explains the General Manager.
As regards purchases, the second pillar of the CSR policy, Arcade Beauty Europe has already launched many initiatives: FSC-certified cardboard, anti-corruption policy, CO2 emission reduction plan… The company also plans to set up a grid to assess its suppliers, as well as a system to ensure sourcing traceability. Plus, a production relocation process was launched.
“We have already brought back to France part of our manufacturing activity from the US, and we will keep making such transfers, so that we no longer have to import products from our North American sites. By relocating our production, we considerably reduce our products’ CO2 impact. In 2018, 196 CO2-equivalent tonnes were saved, and we plan to exceed 250 tonnes in 2019,” explains Carl Allain. Our Asian production should also be concerned. “The idea is that every region (North America, Europe, Asia, and Brazil) should be able to serve local markets by itself.”
Reducing the impact of operations
As for operational excellence, the third pillar, new objectives were defined, in particular in terms of energy consumption reduction (GHG), VOC emissions, and waste quantity. “For every site, we are going to measure the CO2 emission levels compared to the number of units produced in order to reduce them by 10% every year. We will do the same with waste quantities, which should decline by 10% per tonne of product,” details Carl Allain.
To this aim, Arcade Beauty has been investing in new technologies. For example, the silica-based filters that will be installed on the Socoplan-Socoprint site will help better treat the VOCs emitted during printing operations.
The last pillar, staff involvement and community integration, has already led to a number of initiatives. “We invested a lot to offer all our employees a training course on the Arcade Beauty values. In late 2018, we conducted an anonymous satisfaction and corporate culture survey to be able to maintain our actions for team involvement. On the Thouars site, in collaboration with the French Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, Socoplan helped develop a training course on bag filling machines,” explains Carl Allain.
Lastly, the “security week” organized every year will turn into a “CSR week”. Internal training courses and external programmes will be offered to all employees working on the Arcade Beauty Europe sites.
All the group’s sites based in Europe will discuss these issues and harmonize their practices. Then, what is done in Europe will be reproduced on the global level. “Obviously, pressure is stronger in Europe, but our customers are international. Our key American or Brazilian accounts have also implemented demanding strategies… Our work will also help other entities within the group save time,” concludes Carl Allain.