To date, 36 major players in the global cosmetics industry, including brands, manufacturers and professional associations, have joined forces within the EcoBeautyScore consortium in order to create an industry-wide environmental impact assessment and scoring system for cosmetic products.
In September 2021 Henkel, L’Oréal, LVMH, Natura & Co, and Unilever announced 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 a common approach to provide consumers with clear, transparent and comparable environmental impact information. This global initiative is intended to be open to all cosmetics companies, regardless of their size or resources.
So far, the EcoBeautyScore Consortium gathers 36 small and large companies and associations from four continents and it remains open for other potential members to join.
Assessing the environmental impact of cosmetic products
According to its founding members, the purpose of the EcoBeautyScore Consortium is to help consumers to make sustainable choices regarding cosmetic and personal care products. They have therefore started building up an industry-wide scoring system, based on a common science-based methodology, in order to provide consumers with “clear, transparent, and comparable” information on the environmental impact of products.
The new assessment and scoring system will encompass the formula, packaging and usage of each product.
Common methodology and databases
To ensure a robust and scientific approach to co-build an assessment methodology and scoring system, the consortium is working with sustainability consultancy Quantis, who founded the Sustainable Packaging Initiative for CosmEtics (SPICE) together with L’Oréal four years ago. The measurement of environmental impacts throughout the lifecycle of products will be backed by the principles of the “Product Environmental Footprint” (the European Union’s PEF scientific method based on life cycle assessment of products). Common databases on the environmental impact of formula ingredients and packaging materials will also be implemented.
First prototype by the end of the year
The 36 members of the EcoBeautyScore Consortium have already started to work together and are organised in thematic working groups. A footprinting and scoring prototype is targeted for the end of 2022, providing the environmental scoring for a selection of product categories at first. It will then be verified by independent parties. The Consortium said it will also consult external experts, including scientists, academics, and NGOs “to make sure the process is as inclusive as possible.”
The 36 members so far include: 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, P&G, Paragon Nordic, Puig, PZ Cussons, Shiseido, Sisley, STANPA, Unilever.