Sustainability goals for 2017 and beyond part II: improving environmental and social impact

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Sustainable impact on environment and society
As APAC companies develop sustainability targets that make both an environmental and social difference in 2017, we spoke to Amarjit Sahota, Director of Organic Monitor about the cosmetics industry's key concerns and how it will be focusing on these next year and beyond.

Predictions for 2017 and beyond

Sustainability in the near future will continue to prioritise R&D investment to identify new formulations and processes that can replace existing materials and ingredients with sustainable alternatives.

“In 2017, we expect more cosmetic companies to develop green formulations such as replacing contentious synthetic chemicals with plant-based alternatives,” stated Sahota.

Natural raw materials like palm oil, for instance, are also being considered and adopted by companies throughout APAC and the wider markets in a bid to increase their commitments to ethically sourced raw materials.

As global personal care and cosmetics companies including L’Oreal and Unilever have developed dedicated sustainability goals, in 2017, the industry expects to see “greater sustainability commitments from large cosmetic firms”.

Sustainability concerns and discussions are now extending beyond the use of  formulations and ingredients to packaging.

As such, Sahota emphasised that the industry will continue to encourage companies to increase “steps to reduce the packaging impact of cosmetic and personal care products”.

Tackling social impact

Next year, Organic Monitor anticipates that significant emphasis will also be placed on the social impacts of sustainability, in addition to its environmental effects.

Attendees at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit concentrated on holding discussions and asking questions on long-term sustainable development plans.

Reducing environmental footprint is a crucial area and one that many organisations are incorporating into their sustainability aims.

In addition, with the social impact of sustainability a fundamental focus in 2017, the cosmetics industry now looks to how it can make a difference both in terms of its impact on the environment and society through clear and measurable sustainability targets.

Euromonitor International stated that the end goal for cosmetics companies is to maximise awareness and accountability amongst its customers of the importance of ethical concerns relating to society, as well as the environment.

With regards to ethical concerns such as the need for ethical labels, Euromonitor International went on to emphasise the importance of risk management and the need for companies to understand “the impact of issues around natural resources on their profits, growth potential, and relationships with suppliers, partners, customers and the local community”.

As various APAC nations have already taken steps towards banning animal testing methods and seeking regulations and certification in a number of sectors, their attention is now expected to expand to making social improvements within the cosmetics industry.

Ongoing discussions will be held at the executive Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in New York, US, between 4th - 5th May 2017.

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