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Environmental Management in the Beauty Industry

June 22, 2013

Today, more than ever, we find corporate entities cutting across industries emphasizing the need for appropriate environmental management. In such a scenario, needless to say that the beauty industry can clearly not be left behind and that is exactly what is happening; more and more beauty companies are involved in ensuring that while on one hand their products continue to beautify their customers in more ways than what these customers themselves could ever have imagined, they are increasingly implementing more and more environmentally friendly ways of functioning. 

 

 

 Environmental Management and the Use of Natural Ingredients have become fundamental to the beauty industry today

 

The purpose of this article is to point out instances of environmental management in the beauty industry, with an eventual objective of showcasing the fact that concern for the environment has pretty much become central to all major beauty industry entities.

 

Environmental Standards

One of the best things which could possibly have come out of environmental concerns cutting across industries would be the establishment of standardization organizations. In Europe for instance, there is ECOCERT, a France based certification body for sustainable development which certifies a variety of beauty products, apart from products in other industries such as food items and textiles.

 

 

 

   Being ECOCERT Certified for being an Organic Cosmetic clearly carries enormous weight

 

Likewise, in the US we have seen the establishment of OASIS or Organic and Sustainable Industry Standards which has again striven to ensure that when it comes to beauty products (among others), there is standardization which is maintained along with proper adherence to environmental sustenance and concern.  

 

 

 The same can be said about OASIS or Organic and Sustainable Industry Standards as well


Already, if we look at the US alone, we find major global beauty companies including Estee Lauder, L’Oréal, Aveda, and Aveda among others supporting OASIS, so much so that they were themselves responsible for the setup of such a standard benchmark in the first place.

Clearly, every organization worth its (beauty) salt(s) wants to ensure that the environment does not suffer as a result of its functioning and that is the reason it wants certain standards of functioning put in place for all players, big and small, so that no entity in this space can get away causing harm to the environment. 

 

 Companies like The Body Shop have been at the forefront of creating environmentally sustainable beauty products

 

 

Use of Organic Ingredients

A major initiative of a lot of beauty product companies off late has been to ensure that they use organic or environmentally friendly items in the products which they come out with. Typically, this involves both the use of organic items as well as the avoidance of items which can be potentially hazardous.

A case in point would be constituent items like lead; there was a time when it was believed that everyday cosmetics such as lipsticks or mascaras contained lead which would obviously be harmful to the persons using cosmetics and at the same time would also be detrimental to the environment. Today, we find that practically all cosmetic industry players, big and small, have just about given up on the inclusion of lead in their products.

 

 Today this is largely a non-issue as far as most major lipstick manufacturing companies are concerned

 

Instead, the emphasis is on using items which are friendly to the environment, especially organic ones that are plant or water based whereby there is very nearly no environmental damage done at all. This includes during the manufacturing process as well as at the time of final consumption, eventually causing no harm to users or even to the environment in which they released out finally.

If we were to cite and wigs, hair extensions, toupees and false eyelashes industry as a very specific instance, we find numerous instances of companies where they obtain their primary constituent item, viz. hair, in a completely natural way. In other words, they avoid the deployment of artificial hair, which would not be environmentally sustainable. But by using natural hair obtained in completely ethical and professional ways – voluntary donations being fundamental, there is no point in the value chain in which any stakeholder is adversely affected.

 

 These hair extensions have been made out of natural human hair donations in India

 

 

Recycling

Recycling has also gone onto become absolutely fundamental as far as many of the beauty industry players are concerned. And they are ensuring that this recycling takes place in many ways and at various levels.

For instance we find that at the manufacturing stage, a lot of the water and other items which are used in the manufacturing process are recycled so that they can be used all over again. Then once these items have been manufactured and are ready for consumption by end consumers, once again we find that the packaging is made such that the items in question can be recycled really easily. This would include bottles which can be recycled with ease as well as cosmetic items which come in paper packaging, which can of course be recycled with ease; often the beauty companies themselves are majorly involved in reusing the same items.

 

  For many beauty companies, this is the norm that they swear by!

 

In this whole endeavor towards recycling, we find many ancillary industries also playing a major part. For instance, if you look at hotels in particular, they are putting in place water processing and recycling plants, sometimes within their premises whereby the same water which is used and then released as an effluent by guests over the course of their stay at hotels, is then recycled to such a great extent that it can then be reused by the next set of guests without any qualms at all.


Building Environmentally Sustainable Offices

Of course this would be something beyond the reach of many of the simple beauty companies but for the larger ones, we find it relatively easy to build and deploy entire offices and factories which are environmentally sustainable and friendly from the word go. So at every step, they function in a manner so as to not cause any harm to the environment as such.

 

  The beauty industry is increasingly choosing such offices for itself which are eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable

 

Conclusion

Environmental management has clearly become central to companies in the beauty industry. In fact one can say with certainty that to quite an extent it has become central to the industry itself!