THE WHAT? Beauty giants L’Oréal, Henkel, Natura &Co, and Unilever has joined forces to form a new beauty consortium, working together to develop an industry-wide environmental impact assessment and scoring system for cosmetics products.
THE DETAILS Pooling their knowledge and resources, the group will work on a brand-agnostic approach, which aims to give consumers a ‘clear, transparent and comparable environmental impact information, based on a common science-based methodology,’ according to a press release.
Calling for other cosmetics companies to join the consortium, the group will work with sustainability consultancy Quantis to create a scientific approach to co-build the voluntary assessment methodology and scoring system.
This system will look at measuring the environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of products, create a common database of environmental impacts of standard ingredients and raw materials used in formulas and packaging.
It will also work on creating a common tool to allow brands to calculate the environmental impact of individual products, as well as a harmonized scoring system to allow consumers to easily compare products.
THE WHY? The five major players state that the objective of the global initiative is to improve the information that is available to consumers and enable them to make more sustainable consumption choices.
Philippe Osset, an expert in the application of life cycle assessment to eco-design, consultant providing expertise for the European Commission and AFNOR (Association française de normalisation, French Standardization Association), said, “It is possible for the cosmetics sector, as has happened in other sectors, to build a scientific environmental impact assessment of their products, based on a full life cycle assessment. It requires a cross-industry pooling of knowledge and expertise, particularly concerning the environmental impact data; this is exactly what the consortium founding members are embarking on.”