New Sustainable Cosmetic Summit Editions to Look at Marketing, Packaging, Ingredients

Green formulations and sustainable packaging are focal themes of the next editions of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit. The Latin American summit will take place in São Paolo on September 18–20, 2013, while the European summit will be hosted in Paris on October 21–23, 2013. With growing pressure on the cosmetics industry to adopt green formulations and reduce their packaging impacts, the summits will showcase industry best practices while highlighting improvements areas.

The growing array of green ingredients available to formulators will be featured at the summits. New and emerging materials will be highlighted for major ingredient classes: preservatives, fragrances, emulsifiers, surfactants, emollients and base oils. The technical issues of using green ingredients vis-á-vis conventional ingredients will be discussed. Developments in sustainable extraction methods and processing techniques are also on the summit agenda.

A first for the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit is a workshop on the safety assessment of botanical ingredients. Although many cosmetic and ingredient companies are turning to natural sources, questions remain of the safety of such materials. At the Latin American summit, a review will be undertaken of the safety and assessment issues related to botanical ingredients.

Chris Kilham, also known as the Medicine Hunter, will kick off the European edition with a keynote on "Innovating from Nature." The renowned author and educator will explain how the wealth of knowledge present in the plant kingdom can be a source of innovation in the cosmetics industry. In another paper, Kilham will highlight some of the botanical actives that are making headway in cosmetics applications.

An update on sustainability metrics will be given in both the European and Latin American editions. Apart from the use of life cycle analysis to measure environmental impacts, methods of measuring carbon and water footprints will be discussed. Jean-Florent Campion from L’Oréal will share his company’s experiences in measuring the water footprint of cosmetic products. Another paper by Primavera will highlight the challenges in reducing and offsetting carbon emissions when developing a climate-neutral production facility, and yet another paper explores the use of mobile devices to measure environmental impacts.

Sustainable packaging also is a major focus because cosmetic companies are under growing pressure to reduce their packaging impacts because of rising raw material costs and waste management issues. Apart from the design approach and packaging materials, the summit will discuss innovative ways to reduce the environmental impact of packaging. The use of novel materials like bamboo, wood and hybrid polymers in cosmetic packaging will be explored. A paper on reverse logistics looks at how cosmetic companies can create a closed loop for the life cycle of packaging. Natural Brasil will share its packaging innovations in the Latin American edition, while Boho Cosmetics and Naobay will highlight the challenges of developing novel packaging solutions in the European edition. Each summit has an interactive workshop on sustainability in packaging.

Marketing and distribution developments have dedicated sessions. The Latin American edition will highlight the impact of new technologies on marketing. The CEO of the Brazilian agency Ampfy will discuss the use of social media, while a paper describes the potential of e-commerce and m-commerce for cosmetic products. Grupo Pão de Açúcar, the largest retailer in South America, will look at the complexity of sustainability at the retail side. The Brazilian retailer is leading in many areas of sustainability, such as reducing carbon emission, sustainable sourcing and sustainability reporting.

And with much of Europe mired in recession, the European summit will cast the spotlight on distribution. The opening speaker will highlight the distribution hurdles faced by green brands in a weak economy. An international cosmetics firm will discuss the use of sales consultants in direct marketing, whilst other papers cover business openings in the Asian market, mainstream retailing, and green consumer behavior.

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