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Digital Marketing, Packaging, Ingredients Highlight Conference Program for Sustainable Cosmetics Summit

Posted: February 25, 2014

The North American edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will feature advances in green materials and the potential of digital marketing. Taking place in New York on May 15–17, 2014, the three-day summit will bring together CEOs, founders and senior executives from across the beauty industry to discuss sustainability issues.

A wide range of agricultural-based ingredients are making their way into personal care applications, however the move is raising many technical and sustainability concerns. A dedicated session on green materials will discuss the opportunities provided by, and challenges associated with, such ingredients. Industry leaders will assess the environmental footprint of agricultural-based materials, asking whether green always means better for consumers and the environment.

Mike Martinez, CEO of Natural Plant Products, will highlight the difficulties in measuring the environmental footprint of agricultural materials. The American ingredients firm is using an online field calculator to get sustainability metrics on agricultural crops. Fred Zuelli, managing director of Mibelle Biochemistry, will show how plant cell technology can be used for sustainable processing of active ingredients. And another paper explores the potential of biomimetics: how can cosmetic companies innovate with biomimetic (naturally inspired) molecules?

The shift to green cosmetic ingredients is also bringing supply chain risks. Kenneth Ross, CEO of Global ID, will highlight the growing incidence of fraud involving mislabeling and adulteration of materials. Guidance will be given to cosmetic and ingredient firms on how to mitigate supply chain risks, as well as details on scientific methods to authenticate green materials. Another speaker will discuss the prospects for a new sustainability standard for plant-based ingredients.

The digital marketing session looks at the impact of mobile devices and digital marketing on consumer behavior toward personal care products. How can green brands utilize mobile apps and social media platforms to strengthen customer relationships? What are some of the best-practices in e-commerce and m-commerce? Lily Tse, CEO and founder of Think Dirty, will demonstrate the pervasive influence mobile apps can have on consumers. The Think Dirty mobile application rates more than 55,000 beauty products according to the health and safety risks of their ingredients. Consumers are using the mobile app to assess the safety of cosmetic products. Charlene Swanson Crawford, president of Eco Diva Beauty, will highlight the business opportunities provided by e-tailing/online retailing while Edelman will give case studies of brands that have successfully deployed social media and digital marketing strategies.

Aveda and Seventh Generation, two of the largest green brands in North America, will give papers in the sustainability best practices session. Seventh Generation will give insights into its sustainability plan; the consumer goods company has set 2020 goals to reduce its carbon footprint, create zero waste, responsibly source raw materials and support local communities. Aveda will share its experiences in becoming resource efficient and using clean energy. Aveda is the largest user of recycled plastics and renewable energy in the beauty industry. In another paper, Kurt Nuebling, CEO and co-founder of Primavera, will state how green buildings can contribute to sustainability while adding social value.

Approaches to reduce the environmental impact of beauty and personal care products by using metrics and sustainable packaging will also be discussed at the summit. An update will be given on methodologies to obtain sustainability metrics, whilst a leading retailer will describe how it is putting metrics into use. Other papers will explore approaches to reduce the packaging impact of beauty and personal care products: with packaging comprising a third of household waste, how can cosmetic companies reduce their packaging footprints? Featured speakers will look at the possibilities provided by ‘closed loops’ whereby packaging is removed from waste streams for re-use or for new applications.

The summit will end with a technical workshop on green active ingredients. Judi Beerling, technical research manager at Organic Monitor, will highlight the opportunities provided by novel actives from plant, marine, and new technological processes. Practical guidance will be given to formulators and product developers looking to use green actives in beauty and personal care formulations.

Organized by Organic Monitor, the aim of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit is to encourage sustainability in the beauty industry by bringing together key stakeholders and debate major sustainability issues in a high-level forum. This fifth North American edition will be hosted at the Westin New York at Times Square.