Leading Cosmetics Companies Launch Sustainable Packaging Roundtable

Companies share best practices and identify ways to work with suppliers, retailers and customers to advance sustainable packaging.
May 15, 2012

NEW YORK, NY – The American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Institute for Sustainability has announced the creation of the Sustainable Packaging Cosmetics Roundtable. The goal of the roundtable is to enhance the ability of its members to make their own individual choices as to how to interact with suppliers, retailers and consumers with respect to sustainable packaging. Inaugural members include Avon Products, Inc.; Chanel, Inc.; Coty, Inc.; The L’Oreal Group, Mast Global Beauty & Home, and The Estee Lauder Companies.

“Cosmetic companies are becoming more aware of the importance of sustainable packaging within their corporate social responsibility initiatives,” says John Delfausse current chair of the roundtable. He noted that “the demanding requirements for innovation and performance make sustainable packaging design a challenge in today’s competitive environment.”

According to roundtable participants, another challenge is deciding how your company drives and measures progress in sustainability. Darlene Schuster, executive director of the Institute for Sustainability, says her group’s involvement in the cosmetics roundtable comes from its experience in getting experts in other industries, from both large and small organizations, “to collaborate on identifying the stakeholders involved and the key factors of sustainability improvement and success.” She explained that, as cosmetic companies develop design guidelines and common metrics for measuring sustainability accomplishments, and deal with extended producer responsibilities in product and packaging life-cycles, “there are lessons to be learned from a broad spectrum of industries.”

Delfausse said that Sustainable Packaging Cosmetics Roundtable’s (SPCR’s) companies realize “the importance of adopting a new vision for packaging; one emphasizing a “design, reuse, and recover’ model, rather than the traditional ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ approach.” He added that SPCR’s ultimate goal is promoting economic and environmental health through supply chain collaboration.

Since its initiation, the roundtable has identified responsible material sourcing, responsible manufacturing practices and responsible product stewardship as key elements of achieving that goal. By identifying and working with materials and suppliers that are unique to the cosmetic industry, the roundtable members believe they will be able to realize opportunities for a more sustainable cosmetic industry.

About the Institute for Sustainability

Established by AIChE in 2004, IfS’s mission is to serve the needs—and influence the efforts—of professionals, academics, companies and government agencies that contribute to the advancement of sustainability and sustainable development. Participants in IfS come from a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines. To learn more, visit http://www.aiche.org/IFS/About/Index.aspx.

About AIChE:

AIChE is a professional society of more than 40,000 chemical engineers in 92 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at www.aiche.org.