Personal care: a systems approach

3rd December, 2014 by Anna Simpson

Top retailers come together to put the personal care sector on track for a sustainable future.

On 4 September, 2014, Target and Walmart co-hosted the first Beauty and Personal Care Products Sustainability Summit in Chicago, USA, facilitated by Forum for the Future. It brought together retailers, brands, chemical companies, academics, NGOs and other stakeholders, to identify the top three action areas to put the personal care sector on track for a sustainable future.

First, there’s the chemical supply chain, which demands alignment in chemical use and transparency. One action agreed during the summit was to make disclosure along the supply chain easier and more consistent, enabling stronger relationships and increasing willingness to share information. Participants also agreed to engage and educate consumers on the science behind priority chemicals in a way that is meaningful and accessible.

The second area identified for action was the waste and packaging sector - both its environmental impact and its inconsistent communications. The delegates agreed to address disincentives to collaboration, looking at pre-competitive ways to develop common processes, policies and metrics, and to make information available to consumers in unbiased fashion.

Building on consumer messaging, consumer behaviour was selected as the industry’s third priority. One action is to develop information that resonates on a personal level with consumers, helping them make better decisions and to buy more sustainable products. - Anna Simpson

Image credit: istock

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