The challenge

Beauty and personal care products are a particular area of interest to many stakeholders engaged in sustainability issues. But although many of the key players within the sector want to create wide-reaching change, they are often coming from different starting points and not working together to achieve solutions. Consumer groups and NGOs, for example, are interested in the issues surrounding the environmental and social impacts of product use, whereas retailers and manufacturers want to develop more sustainable products but are reaching the limits of what they can do alone.

To date, a lot of the work on product sustainability has been done by individual companies, and as a result there are a lot of different initiatives and approaches, which is ultimately confusing to the consumer. Forum for the Future believes there is an opportunity for harmonization within the sector; a view which has been bolstered by Target and Walmart's unprecedented willingness to show how working together can unlock new opportunities.

 

What we are doing

On 4 September 2014, Target and Walmart co-hosted the Beauty and Personal Care Products Sustainability Summit in Chicago, USA. The daylong event, convened by Forum for the Future, brought together key players from across the beauty and personal care industries to accelerate a conversation about product sustainability. The aim was to map the landscape in which companies and organizations are operating, explore common concerns and identify where stakeholders can bring better options to consumers. Click here to see what was on the agenda and to view the full list of delegates and facilitators,

Read the report

This report has been put together following the summit to summarize the process and share the results of the landmark event.

 

Next steps

At the conclusion of the summit, attendees signed up for the ideas they would like to continue working on. We are now refining those ideas, and summit attendees will be invited to take part in teleconferences to discuss how to move the prioritized ideas forward, who should be involved, and who should be responsible for driving action. As each idea is developed and taken forward the ambition is that it will be adopted and driven by different players in the supply chain in order to drive sustainable innovation and benefit all the players and customers.

 

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