Unilever has joined a new global coalition along with Henkel, L'Oréal, LVMH, Natura &Co to co-develop an industry-wide environmental impact assessment and scoring system for cosmetics products.
The aim is to co-design a brand-agnostic approach and provide consumers with clear, transparent, and comparable environmental impact information, based on a standard science-based methodology.
The coalition is inviting other cosmetics companies to join the initiative.
Assessment And Scoring System
The new assessment and scoring system aims to meet growing consumer demand for greater transparency around the environmental impact of cosmetics.
The objective is to improve the information that is available to consumers and enable them to make more sustainable choices.
The consortium, led by Henkel, L'Oréal, LVMH, Natura &Co, and Unilever, will be open to all cosmetics companies wishing to join and contribute to designing a system that allows consumers to compare cosmetic products within the same category.
The ambition is to inform consumers of the environmental impact of products, taking into account the entire product life cycle.
Sunny Jain, president of Unilever beauty and personal care, said, "Many of us want to make more considered choices in our lives, but it's not always easy to know the environmental impact we are making through simple things like selecting which soap to buy, or which shampoo to use.
"This is where the new consortium can make a difference. Working alongside our peer companies, we are aiming to provide people with easy to understand, transparent and comparable information, based on a robust scientific approach."
Sustainability consultancy group Quantis has been proposed as a partner in the project to ensure a robust and scientific approach for developing the assessment methodology.
The convening five companies will pool their experience and knowledge in developing environmental impact assessment methodologies, in the case of Henkel, LVMH, Natura &Co, and Unilever, and an environmental and social labelling system, developed by L'Oréal.
All companies will benefit from the pre-existing work and are welcome to contribute their own experience, Unilever noted.
The consortium will consult 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 voluntary basis by both consortium participants and all other interested parties.
Philippe Osset, a consultant for the European Commission and AFNOR (Association française de normalisation, French Standardisation Association), said, "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."