The Challenge

Beauty and personal care products touch our hair, skin and mouths; they protect us, clean us and make us smell nice. Consumer demand for sustainable products is growing, and together with NGOs they are increasingly calling for safe and sustainable products, with transparent and clear ingredient lists. So, how do we get more sustainable products on retailers’ shelves?

Many key players in the sector are keen to shape a more sustainable industry. However, the industry is complex, the cost of making changes is high, and the needs and interests of different players in the supply chain (including retailers, product manufacturers and NGOs) don’t always line up.

To really make significant progress on the issue, all players must understand all perspectives, identify shared goals, and work together to tackle the barriers that delay the adoption of better products.

That’s why we initiated the Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) Sustainability Project.  

Our solution

The BPC Sustainability Project is a collaborative effort comprising retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and NGOs, including founding members Target and Walmart along with the now 16 other leading members, working together toward the goal of putting more sustainable beauty and personal products on retailers’ shelves.

The collaboration started in September 2014 and has since been convened and facilitated by Forum. It grew out of a one-day event, the Beauty and Personal Care Product Sustainability Summit in Chicago, USA, co-hosted by Target and Walmart.

Our initial work together pointed to four key barriers to more sustainable products:

  •       The lack of a common definition of ‘sustainable products’
  •       The lack of clear market signals
  •       Non-existent / inconsistent regulation
  •       The high price of change

The BPC leadership group focused in on the first two barriers - by working to develop a common product rating system that retailers will use to evaluate the sustainability characteristics of beauty and personal care products. This rating system was completed in early 2018, and is now being managed and implemented by our technical partner The Sustainability Consortium (TSC).

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To find out more about the project, contact Georgia Rubenstein.

Who’s involved

The BPC leadership group is a cross-industry, multi-sector group of 18 leading organisations from across the beauty and personal care value chain, including retailers, manufacturers and brands, chemical and fragrance suppliers and NGOs.

What can you do?

Check out the new product sustainability assessment tool hosted by TSC.

Take a look at the summary report from the Beauty and Personal Care Product Sustainability Summit in 2014.

Gain further insight into the outcome of this summit, and the process of bringing diverse stakeholders together for widespread change: ‘Driving Big Shift to Sustainability’

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