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Sustainability goals for 2017 and beyond part I: resources and ethical labelling

By Natasha Spencer , 30-Nov-2016
Last updated on 30-Nov-2016 at 14:32 GMT2016-11-30T14:32:54Z

APAC sustainability goals for 2017

As the latest Sustainable Cosmetics Summit took place earlier this month, in this two-part article we discuss with Amarjit Sahota, Director of Organic Monitor, the key sustainability topics on the cosmetics agenda for next year and beyond.

As brands continue to concentrate on making sustainable choices in formulation, raw material and packaging developments, UK-based specialist research, consulting & training company Organic Monitor reported that their attention will broaden to making a social difference in 2017.

The Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, held in Hong Kong between 14th-15th November 2016, brought cosmetic industry professionals and leading organisations together to discuss prevalent sustainability topics.

This year’s Hong Kong Summit focused on the use of contentious chemicals in personal care formulations, resource and carbon management, and the impact of packaging selection.

Reducing resources

Angela Buglass, CEO of Trilogy, delivered a speech on the importance of resource efficiency and encouraged more companies to address their carbon footprints and the benefits of being carbon neutral, which the New Zealand-based natural skin care company has been since 2007.

Taiwanese natural hair care brand, O’ Right, another advocate and example of a carbon neutral business,  is reducing its water footprint, has Cradle-To-Cradle (C2C) certification and also uses ground coffee as a raw material in its product formulations.

Furthering its sustainability goals, South Korean cosmetics giant, Amorepacific, has set up eco-friendly processes, as well as the Osulloc Tea Garden (organic) in Jeju

Island which absorbs 900 tonnes of CO2 per year. Additionally, the company uses 32,059 tonnes of rainwater in its facilities in a bid to reduce carbon and water usage.

“The cosmetics industry is realising there are economic, as well as environmental benefits of being more resource efficient,” said Amarjit Sahota, Director of Organic Monitor.

“For instance, reducing plastic packaging brings cost savings as fewer materials are used; it also brings environmental benefits in terms of lower CO2 emissions,” added Sahota.

H&M Conscious, the global fashion retailer’s new organic beauty range, is part of the retailer’s strategy to make sustainable products affordable to all.

Ethical labelling set to evolve

The direction of ethical labelling throughout the industry is a key concern. As the ISO standard for natural and organic products and certification relating to Halal, fair trade and gluten-free products dominates the APAC region, visitors raised questions on the future of the ethical labelling trend and whether it will continue to increase at an ongoing rapid rate or whether standards that cover a variety of attributes will start to emerge.

Korean organic skin care brand, Jejuorga, announced its new Jeju Cosmetics label for sustainable cosmetics, while developments for the approaching and heavily-discussed Marine Stewardship standard for sustainable seaweed and its impact on the personal care industry, continue.

In the second part of this article, to be published on Monday 5th December, we will discuss how sustainability goals throughout APAC will focus on improving social sustainability impacts as well as continuing with environmental efforts.

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