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Sustainability: This Year’s Model

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: February 2, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Recently, GCI received a press release detailing the launch of a partnership between Aveeno and TerraCycle, a company that seeks eco-friendly uses for companies’ waste streams. In this partnership, Aveeno product tubes will be “upcycled” into, for example, household items that will then be available for purchase at major U.S. retailers. This unique partnership, according to the brand, offers communities a chance to make sustainable strides; Aveeno “Beauty Brigades” are formed across the U.S. to collect the empty elongated Aveeno product tubes from sun care, facial care, baby and body care products.

“We are incredibly proud of the progress the Aveeno brand has made in terms of sustainability,” said Michael Marquis, group product director, Aveeno. “We continue to look for ways to improve our eco-conscious practices, from how we source ingredients and packaging materials to reducing waste and resources needed for product transport. It’s through our collaboration with partners like TerraCycle that makes it possible for us to expand our commitment to sustainability, giving back to the community and improving our environment.”

Brand efforts, too, go beyond simple investments at the product-consumption level. In 2009, SC Johnson invested $4.7 million in its Mijdrecht, Netherlands, facility to build and operate a 262-foot wind turbine designed to provide 66% of the plant’s power while cutting greenhouse emissions for an offset equivalent of planting 110,000 seedlings or saving 30 acres of forest.

Each page of any given issue of GCI or this Web site could be filled with more examples. And as we progress through 2010, expect to see more of these efforts.

“While 2009 brought its challenges for the industry, beauty brands and suppliers have continued to seek creative new ways to merge science, nature and sustainability for better results and more eco-friendly formulas and packaging,” said Nica Lewis, director, Mintel Beauty Innovation, discussing Mintel’s forecast for 2010 beauty trends. “In 2010, we will see more consolidation in the beauty industry and the evolution of old trends, as well as new ones, as consumer confidence returns.”