Henkel, L’Oréal, LVMH, Natura &Co, and Unilever invite the cosmetics sector to co-design a voluntary environmental impact assessment and scoring system for cosmetic products

20.09.2021 - Group

environmental impact assessment

20 September 2021 – Henkel, L’Oréal, LVMH, Natura &Co, and Unilever announce a new global collaboration to co-develop an industry-wide environmental impact assessment and scoring system for cosmetics products. The aim is to co-design an approach that is brand-agnostic, and which provides consumers with clear, transparent and comparable environmental impact information, based on a common science-based methodology. They are inviting other cosmetics companies to join them in this pursuit.

Addressing the demand for greater transparency

The new assessment and scoring system will aim to meet growing consumer demand for greater transparency about the environmental impact of cosmetics products (formula, packaging and usage). The objective is to improve the information that is available to consumers and enable them to make more sustainable consumption choices.

To do this, a consortium will be created that is open to all cosmetics companies wishing to join and contribute to designing a system that allows consumers to compare cosmetics products within the same category. The ambition is for the overall score to inform consumers of the environmental impact of products, taking into account their whole product life cycle.

Co-building a scientific methodology and scoring system

It is proposed that the consortium works with sustainability consultancy Quantis to ensure a robust and scientific approach and that efforts to co-build the voluntary assessment methodology and scoring system are guided by and articulated around:

1. A common method for measuring environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of products , backed by the principles of the “Product Environmental Footprint” (the European Union’s PEF scientific method for quantifying the environmental footprint of products).

2. A common database of environmental impacts of standard ingredients and raw materials used in formulas and packaging, as well as during product usage.

3. A common tool that enables each brand to calculate the environmental impact of individual products, usable by non-experts.

4. A harmonized scoring system, for example using a score ranging from A to E, that enables the consumer to easily compare products. The methodology, data base, tool and scoring system will be verified by independent parties.

Engaging all players in the cosmetics sector

This global initiative is intended to be open to all cosmetics companies, regardless of their size or resources. Other stakeholders will be informed and consulted throughout the process. The convening five companies will pool their experience and knowledge in developing environmental impact assessment methodologies (as is the case for Henkel, LVMH, Natura &Co, and Unilever) and an environmental and social labelling system (as developed by L’Oréal). All companies will benefit from this pre-existing work and are invited to contribute their own experience. The consortium will also be consulting with external experts, including scientists, academics and NGOs to ensure the ongoing integrity of the approach. The work developed by the consortium will be published and made accessible on a strictly voluntary basis by both consortium participants and all other interested parties.

“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.” Philippe Osset, 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).

Cosmetics Europe has been actively following the process; other industry associations are being contacted to join the consortium. Companies and trade associations wishing to know more are invited to contact [email protected] . 

Media contacts:

Henkel - Ricarda Albaum - [email protected]
L’Oréal - Polina Huard - [email protected]
LVMH - [email protected]
Natura &Co – Emilia Lebron – [email protected]
Unilever - [email protected]

About Henkel

Henkel operates globally with a well-balanced and diversified portfolio. The company holds leading positions with its three business units in both industrial and consumer businesses thanks to strong brands, innovations and technologies. Henkel Adhesive Technologies is the global leader in the adhesives market – across all industry segments worldwide. In its Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care businesses, Henkel holds leading positions in many markets and categories around the world. Founded in 1876, Henkel looks back on more than 140 years of success. In 2020, Henkel reported sales of more than 19 billion euros and adjusted operating profit of about 2.6 billion euros. Henkel employs about 53,000 people globally – a passionate and highly diverse team, united by a strong company culture, a common purpose, and shared values. As a recognized leader in sustainability, Henkel holds top positions in many international indices and rankings. Henkel’s preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX. For more information, please visit www.henkel.com .

About L’Oréal

L’Oréal has devoted itself to beauty for over 100 years. With its unique international portfolio of 35 diverse and complementary brands, the Group generated sales amounting to 27.99 billion euros in 2020 and employs 85,400 people worldwide. As the world’s leading beauty company, L’Oréal Group is present across all distribution networks: mass market, department stores, pharmacies and drugstores, hair salons, travel retail, branded retail and e-commerce.

Research and innovation, and a dedicated research team of 4,000 people, are at the core of L’Oréal’s strategy, working to meet beauty aspirations all over the world. L’Oréal sets out ambitious sustainable development goals across the Group for 2030 and aims to empower its ecosystem for a more inclusive and sustainable society.

More information: https://www.loreal.com/en/mediaroom/

About LVMH

LVMH is home to 75 iconic Maisons rooted in six different sectors (Wines and Spirits, Fashion and Leather Goods, Perfumes and Cosmetics, Watches and Jewelry, Selective Retailing & Other activities). Each of our brands builds on a unique legacy while keeping an unwavering focus on the high quality of its products. A major player in the perfumes, make-up and skincare markets, the Perfumes & Cosmetics division groups together major brands: Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, Parfums Givenchy, Kenzo Parfums, Perfumes Loewe, Benefit Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Acqua di Parma, Fresh, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna and Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

The protection of nature’s ecosystems has always been of utmost importance to LVMH, whose activity is significantly reliant on natural raw materials (flowers, grapes, cotton, leather, stones, etc.).

Established 27 years ago, LVMH’s environmental policy is now integrated in the LIFE 360 program (LVMH Initiatives For the Environment) unveiled early 2021. This new environmental performance roadmap sets precise targets and timeframes (2023, 2026 and 2030) designed to forge a new alliance between nature and creativity around four product-focused pillars: protection of biodiversity, fight against climate change, circular economy and transparency. Discover more: https://www.lvmh.com/group/lvmh - commitments/social - environmental - responsibility/life - initiative lvmh/

About Natura &Co

Natura &Co is a global, purpose-driven, multi-channel and multi-brand cosmetics group which includes Avon, Natura, The Body Shop and Aesop. Natura &Co posted net revenues of R$36.9 billion in 2020. The four companies that form the group are committed to generating positive economic, social and environmental impact. For 135 years Avon has stood for women: providing innovative, quality beauty products which are primarily sold to women, through women. Founded in 1969, Natura is a Brazilian multinational in the cosmetics and personal care segment, leader in direct sales. Founded in 1976 in Brighton, England, by Anita Roddick, The Body Shop is a global beauty brand that seeks to make a positive difference in the world. The Australian beauty brand Aesop was established in 1987 with a quest to create a range of superlative products for skin, hair and the body.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 2.5 billion people every day. We have 149,000 employees and generated sales of €50.7 billion in 2020. Over half of our footprint is in developing and emerging markets. We have around 400 brands found in homes all over the world – including iconic global brands like Dove, Lifebuoy, Knorr, Magnum, OMO and Surf; and other brands such as Love Beauty & Planet, Hourglass, Seventh Generation and The Vegetarian Butcher.

Our vision is to be the global leader in sustainable business and to demonstrate how our purpose-led, future-fit business model drives superior performance. We have a long tradition of being a progressive, responsible business. It goes back to the days of our founder William Lever, who launched the world’s first purposeful brand, Sunlight Soap, more than 100 years ago, and it’s at the heart of how we run our company today.

The Unilever Compass, our sustainable business strategy, is set out to help us deliver superior performance and drive sustainable and responsible growth, while:

- improving the health of the planet;

- improving people's health, confidence and wellbeing; and - contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world.

While there is still more to do, we are proud to have been recognised in 2020 as a sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and - for the tenth-consecutive year - as the top ranked company in the 2020 GlobeScan/SustainAbility Sustainability Leaders survey.

For more information about Unilever and our brands, please visit www.unilever.com .

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