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Price, performance, supply and sustainability all-in-one The Amyris case

At a time when eco-consumerism is increasingly focusing end-user attention on all aspects of products like raw material sourcing, manufacturing and disposal, the beauty product sector has been accused of numerous environmentally unfriendly practices. In fact, within the rapidly growing market for personal care products, a number of analyses show that the highest environmental impact of cosmetic products is at the consumer level where consumers concerns range from unsustainable sourcing of raw materials, pollution both in the manufacturing phase and the disposal of packaging and products, to animal testing. 


In response companies have attempted to address these issues holistically by focusing on sustainable raw material sourcing and greener formulations, as well as through packaging reductions and lower overall resource consumption. They are also focusing on social issues, like ethical supply chains and corporate eco-philanthropy.  However, these laudable practices face both consumer skepticism that often views these activities as “greenwashing” and the reality of the market, where in a global economy, there is little appetite for premium pricing to cover the increased costs of these products compared to traditional products.

To its credit, the industry has not given up, as witnessed by recent developments. At the Paris In-Cosmetics tradeshow there will be a special focus on how sustainability adds value to cosmetics brands, via presentations on the latest trends (1). In one example of initiatives supporting these efforts, L’Oreal has committed to transform, by 2020, their sustainability footprint by ensuring that 100% of products they develop will have an environmental or social benefit, while simultaneously achieving its business ambitions of reaching 1 billion new consumers worldwide. By 2015, the company is also seeking a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water consumption.


L’Oreal’s CEO, Jean-Paul Agon, was quoted as follows:  “By accelerating sustainable innovation within our...In order to continue reading this article please register to our website – registration is for free and no fees will be applied afterwards to download contents.

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