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 and collaborative action within the sector; a view which has been bolstered by retail giants 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 with the ambition of starting a conversation about a shared approach to product sustainability. The aim was to map the landscape in which companies and organizations are operating, explore common concerns and identify where stakeholders can collaborate to bring better options to consumers.

We believe that together we can catalyze innovation and create better products for customers, workers, and the environment through a collective approach that accounts for the whole supply chain.

Click here to see what was on the agenda and to view the full list of delegates and facilitators,

 

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