What's next for sustainable cosmetics?

What's next for sustainable cosmetics?

European edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will cover developments in green ingredients, marketing and customer behavior on Nov. 24 to 26. 

The European edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will cover developments in green ingredients, marketing and customer behavior. Organized by Organic Monitor, the summit will be hosted in Paris on Nov. 24 to 26, 2014. For the first time in Europe, the summit will discuss ways to encourage sustainable purchases and responsible consumption of cosmetics and personal care products.

Marketing and customer behavior will be featured in the context of green cosmetics and environmental impacts. Although the natural and organic cosmetics market has shown high growth, the market share remains low. Natural and organic products comprise just 3 percent of European cosmetic sales because of concentration of demand; a small consumer base is responsible for most purchases. The latest market and consumer data will be presented, followed by discussions on how to broaden consumer appeal for natural and organic cosmetics. Life-cycle analysis studies show the highest environmental impact of certain personal care products is at the consumer level; the summit will also ask what can be done to encourage responsible consumption?

Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, cofounder of McDonough Braungart Design and professor at the University ofApplied Science (Suderburg, Germany), will give the opening keynote. As cosmetic firms announce bold sustainability plans, Braungart will state the limitations of setting targets to reduce environmental impacts. According to Braungart, cosmetic and personal care firms need to innovate with product design if they are to use resources more efficiently. He encourages companies to consider the Cradle-To-Cradle Design Approach to create ‘closed loop systems’ for cosmetic ingredients and finished products.

The summit will also give industry best-practices in the context of the Brundtlandt Commission three pillars of sustainability. With most cosmetic companies focusing on environmental impacts, approaches to address the social and economic footprints will be discussed. Papers will cover the positive role of fair trade, sustainable economics and green finance. Alexandra Palt, CSR and Sustainability Director of L’Oreal, will give details of its Shared Beauty For All sustainability plan; how does the cosmetics giant plan to reach 1 billion new consumers by 2020 whilst reducing its environmental footprint by 60 percent?

The green ingredients session will give an update on the growing palette of green materials, placing emphasis on new technologies. Óscar Expósito Tarrés, founding partner of Phyture Biotech, will show how plant cell technology is generating novel actives for cosmetic applications. Alban Muller, founder of the French ingredients firm Alban Muller, will give details of new technologies for sustainable processing. Other speakers will discuss the potential of bio-inspired molecules, the need for sustainable palm oil alternatives, and creating novel green materials.

A new workshop will tackle the major technical issues associated with green functional personal care products. Although the range of green ingredients has widened considerably in recent years, technical issues persist with natural and organic shower gels, sun care lotions, hand sanitizers and deodorants. Judi Beerling will give practical advice to product developers and formulators in this interactive workshop.

The 6th European edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will be hosted in Paris on Nov. 24 to 26. The 2nd Sustainable Beauty Awards will be co-hosted alongside the summit, on Nov. 24.

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