‘Small changes for a big difference’: Shiseido’s ELIXIR aiming for all key products to be refillable by 2025

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

ELIXIR is targeting to convert all of the brand’s flagship products into a refillable format by 2025. [Shiseido / ELIXIR]
ELIXIR is targeting to convert all of the brand’s flagship products into a refillable format by 2025. [Shiseido / ELIXIR]

Related tags: Shiseido, Sustainability, refills, circular beauty

Shiseido-owned ELIXIR is targeting to convert all of the brand’s flagship products into a refillable format by 2025 as part of the multinational’s sustainability goals.

Launched in 1983, ELIXIR is a skin care brand that specialises in anti-ageing care that has maintained tops sales ranking in Japan for 14 consecutive years according to Intage’s Nationwide Retail Store Panel Surveys.

ELIXIR currently offers refills for its lotion and milky lotion products. According to Shiseido, utilising refills can reduce ELIXIR’s use of plastic by 85%.

The Japanese cosmetics giant plans to accelerate these efforts and expand ELIXIR’s initiative throughout Asia and by 2023 it hopes to reduce approximately 400 tonnes of plastic annually.

“Going forward, these actions to reduce environmental burden will accelerate, not only in Japan in China, but to other Asian countries and regions. By 2025 the key products from ELIXIR are aiming to be refillable,” ​said CFO Takayuki Yokota during the firm’s first-quarter results press conference.

ELIXIR started the year by launching refill packaging in China and subsequently rolled out a global sustainability campaign in April.

The key message of the campaign – ​small changes for a big difference’ – aimed to educate consumers about plastic waste reduction while promoting its refill packaging.

“ELIXIR believes that the accumulation of individual actions to refill and reuse the main container without throwing it away will surely change the future,” ​said Seika Teranishi, global VP of ELIXIR.

The campaign features Doraemon, a beloved Japanese cartoon character, as its mascot and star of a 3D animated television commercial that focused on the message of preserving the planet for future generations.

Shiseido said the character was chosen for its ‘high recognition rate and favourable impression in Asia’​.

The campaign debuted in Japan first before launching in China and will launch in Taiwan later this year in September.

ELIXIR is one of the skin care brand Shiseido has slated for strategic investment in line with its focus on ‘skin beauty’, along with brands such as SHISEIDO, Clé de Peau Beauté, Drunk Elephant, Anessa and EFFECTIM.

Shiseido’s sustainability strategies

This news follows the launch of Shiseido’s global sustainable initiative, Sustainable Beauty Actions (SBAS) in October last year.

“COVID-19 has quite literally engulfed the entire world. It has overturned our way of life and behaviour and has led to a reappraisal of ideas and norms that we previously took for granted. An example of this is people’s concern and anxiety over the sustainability of the world and strong expectations for companies’ contribution,” ​said Jun Aoki, Shiseido’s chief social value creation officer.

“It is our responsibility as a corporate citizen to consider how best to ensure social and environmental sustainability. As such, sustainability is becoming a top priority for all stakeholders.”

To achieve circularity, the company will focus on the five Rs – respect, reduce, reuse, recycle and replace.

Shiseido began to engage in a range of sustainable packaging initiatives in 2020 to support its goal to make all its product containers 100% sustainable by 2025.

Last year, the company launched the SHISEIDO AquaGel Lip Palette, which is housed in a compact made from a biodegradable polymer jointly developed by Shiseido and the Kaneka Corporation.

Furthermore, the company is working with Terracycle’s Loop to launch a packaging reuse programme, which is scheduled to launch in Tokyo by the end of 2021.

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