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Sustainable Cosmetics Summit heads to Latin America

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit heads to Latin America
Focal themes of the inaugural Latin American summit include biodiversity and ethical sourcing, sustainable ingredients and marketing best practices.

Following the success of previous editions, Organic Monitor is taking its Sustainable Cosmetics Summit to Latin America. Taking place in São Paulo city Sept. 24-26, the summit tackles major business and technical issues associated with green cosmetics and sustainability. Focal themes of the inaugural Latin American edition are biodiversity and ethical sourcing, sustainable ingredients and marketing best practices.

Biodiversity and ethical sourcing are featured because of growing pressure on cosmetic and ingredient companies to adopt sustainability practices in the procurement of raw materials. The opening speaker discusses the implications of Rio +20 on sustainable agriculture and ingredient sourcing. Daniel Sabará from Beraca gives a case study on how sustainable sourcing can create positive social impacts. A Colombian company discusses the challenges of developing actives from rare plant species whilst sharing benefits with indigenous communities. Shea butter will be used as a case study by AAK to illustrate how sourcing programs can encourage sustainability in Africa.

The growing use of sustainable ingredients is a major theme. In an interactive workshop, Judi Beerling of Organic Monitor will examine the technical and formulation issues associated with using a palette of green ingredients. The Brazilian company Agropalma will discuss the growing use of sustainable oils in cosmetic applications. Other papers in the sustainable ingredients session cover green chemistry principles, sustainable fragrances, new extraction techniques for actives, and the problems in switching from petrochemical to plant feedstock.

The difficulties in marketing green cosmetics are discussed in the marketing best-practices session. The first speaker looks at substantiating marketing claims by defining green, natural and organic in the cosmetics arena. Ulrike Weber from Weleda highlights the pitfalls and challenges of marketing pure natural cosmetics in Latin American countries. Surya Brasil, one of the few regional companies with certified products, highlights the potential of organic cosmetics. An international retailer gives its perspectives on sustainability and retailing such products, whilst a research agency gives insights into green consumer behavior.

The social aspects of sustainability are given particular emphasis in this edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit. The opening speaker in the sustainability initiatives session highlights the role of the beauty industry to address social inequality in Latin America. The two largest Brazilian cosmetic companies – Natura Brasil and Grupo Boticario – will share their experiences in meeting the ecological and social challenges. Liliana George from Estee Lauder Companies will show how brands like Aveda can ingrain sustainability into their corporate DNA.

São Paulo was chosen as the location of the Latin American edition because of the growing importance of Brazil. As well as having the third largest cosmetics market in the world, the country is considered the most biologically diverse on the planet. The summit aims to tackle major sustainability issues the beauty industry faces in the region. Mr. Amarjit Sahota, president of Organic Monitor, quotes ‘in this first edition, we aim to share sustainability best-practices in Latin America, as well as highlight areas for development’. Some of the new sustainability topics that will be covered in the summit will be biodiversity and benefit sharing, social impacts (CSR and corporate philanthropy), green chemistry and formulations, and marketing pitfalls/challenges.

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