Dozens of health and beauty brands collaborate for environmental product labelling

Image: Unilever

The collaboration, called the EcoBeautyScore Consortium, was co-founded last September by five large businesses with operations in health and beauty – Unilever, L’Oreal, Henkel, LVMH and Body Shop owner Natura & Co. Industry association Cosmetics Europe was also a founding organisation.

Now, a string of other companies have confirmed that they are joining the Consortium, bringing the total number of participating health and beauty brands to 36.

Among the new joiners is Beiersdorf, which owns brands including Nivea and Elastoplast.

The aim of the consortium is to create a system for measuring and scoring the environmental impacts of products across their lifecycle. Member firms are leveraging their own in-house sustainability teams and the help of sustainability consultancy Quantis to develop a database of the raw materials used in product formulas and packaging, and a tool to determine the specific impacts of individual products.

This data will be interpreted through a harmonised scoring system, that will communicate the impact of the products they used with a simple overall score.

The Consortium is hoping to launch a footprinting and scoring prototype by the end of 2022. This will then need to be verified by third parties and tested with consumers before a final version is launched. From that point, the focus will be on expanding the number of listed product categories and individual products.

As of this week, the consortium comprises Amorepacific, Babor, Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive, Cosmébio, COSMED, Cosmetic Valley, Cosmetics Europe, cosnova, Coty, The Estée Lauder Companies, Eugène Perma, FEBEA, The Fragrance Creators Association, Henkel, IKW Beauty Care, The International Fragrance Association, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., JUST International AG, Kao, L’Oréal Groupe, LVMH, Nafigate, NAOS, Natrue, Natura &Co, NOHBA, Oriflame, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Paragon Nordic, Puig, PZ Cussons, Shiseido, Sisley, STANPA and Unilever.

Positive Beauty Growth Platform

In related news, Unilever has this week announced a call for applications to its Positive Beauty Growth Platform. This is an initiative through which the business partners with startups, scaleups and academic spinouts developing innovative, sustainable solutions for the beauty sector.

Innovations are sought in regards to packaging, product formulation and product format (i.e. refillable products, packaging-free products, solid and concentrated formats). All innovations must be compatible with Unilever’s overarching sustainability commitments for beauty products, including biodegradable product formulations by 2030, halving virgin plastic use by 2035 and reaching net-zero by 2039.

Applicants have until 11 April to complete the necessary forms. Last year, more than 300 projects applied to the Positive Beauty Growth Platform.

“Startup-led partnerships are an important pillar to drive growth and innovation,” said Unilever’s global head of the Unilever Foundry Baz Saideh. 

 “The Positive Beauty Growth Platform is proving a catalyst of finding the greatest startup innovations and powering experimentation at scale. For our latest challenge, we’re keen to engage and explore partnerships with innovators developing biodegradable and sustainable ingredients and packaging for the future – something we know is increasingly important to people around the world. If this call-out is half as successful as our last challenge, we should be in for some stunning collaborations.”

Sarah George

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