Sustainability in the Cosmetics and Personal Care Industry

Rapid Growth and Environmental Responsibility Working Together

The Cosmetics and Personal Care sector is an industry that has gone through impressive and rapid growth. By 2020, it’s anticipated that the sales of cosmetics products will rise to a staggering $675bn!

So, in such a growing market that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, how important is sustainability?

Sustainability is Importantcosmetics make-up

In the Cosmetics and Personal Care Sector, sustainability is becoming increasingly more mainstream. It’s no longer a corporate ‘buzzword’ or a trend. It’s become something almost mandatory, and embedded in organisational culture.

For many, sustainability and cosmetics are two terms that do not sit well together. That’s not surprising. It’s an industry that has sometimes in the past received criticism for unethical business practices.

So, what’s changed? And why now is sustainability riding high at the top of the agenda for many businesses?

Addressing Environmental Impact

The requirement for resource efficiency, global standards and the rise in ethical consumerism. These are among the factors that have led to businesses addressing their own environmental impact and responsibilities.

Other factors include climate change and deforestation which are prominently featured in the media. Consumer concern regarding the care and preservation of the environment is also gaining momentum.

Green Benefits

More manufacturers are feeling the pressure to ‘go green’. They are also starting to recognise the benefits associated with setting and implementing sustainable objectives. Many are using sustainability as a strategic differentiator, and a branding opportunity.Green Benefits

The success stories of the large multinational companies that have embraced sustainability are another driving factor. Especially if you look at the likes of Unilever, Nike and Toyota.

These companies, and several other multinationals generate billions of dollars in annual revenue. This revenue is from products and services that have sustainable supply chain practices.

L’Oréal and Unilever Leading the Way

L’Oréal and Unilever are two companies that have made significant progress on their sustainability goals. They have implemented sustainability programmes with seemingly impossible objectives, and consistently achieved them.

In the case of Unilever, the company launched their ‘Sustainable Living Plan’ in November 2010. This 10-year plan includes ambitious environmental targets. They aim to halve the company’s environmental impact and double sales by 2020.

Other targets include the reduction of water use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste impacts in their factories, and beyond.

Unilever’s approach seems to be working well. So far, it has reduced carbon emissions from factories by 37% since 2009. They have also reduced waste going to landfill by 85%.

How Pigging Can Help

Organisations in the Cosmetics and Personal Care sector can achieve significant gains from pigging (here’s an explanation of what pigging is). Many manufacturers implement pigging systems as they increase yields, through recovering saleable product which may otherwise have gone to waste.

Pigging reduces the use of cleaning fluids, as there’s less product residue to remove in the pipeline. Thus, less labour and resources are required. For businesses that process liquids, the first stage of the Clean in Place (CIP) cycle is to flush out the product using water before the cleaning process has even commenced. Although pigging rarely negates the need for CIP completely, it significantly reduces it. So, CIP and pigging work well together.

So, if most of the product has already been removed with a pig (recovery up to 99.5% of liquid), the requirement for a lengthy flush is substantially reduced. Therefore, the use of water is greatly reduced.

Faster Changeovers

In Cosmetics and Personal Care production, it is common to have multiple products lines running through the pipeline. The changeover from one product to another can result in significant product loss, and the requirement for water for flush outs.

Pigging systems can be advantageous as they speed up changeover times considerably, as the length of the wash is reduced. In some cases, the need for flushing is eliminated altogether. For instance, if there is only a minor change in the colour or scent of the product being pigged, it’s often possible to follow on immediately with the next product. This greatly improves operational efficiencies.

Because HPS pigging systems reduce water consumption, they lower an organisations carbon footprint. Pigging can also improve environmental sustainability in many other ways, as depicted in this infographic.

Responsible Sourcing

Many Cosmetics and Personal Care manufacturers have a responsible sourcing strategy in place, which aligns with their sustainability goals. In most cases, they also encourage their supply chain to follow suit.beauty

One of the easiest ways to confirm a supplier’s sustainability is through the ISO 140001 accreditation. This certification enables suppliers to demonstrate their company’s environmental commitment to reducing waste and energy use.

HPS is an ISO 14001 accredited pigging company. This emphasises our commitment to limiting our overall environmental impact.

At HPS, we consistently measure and monitor our performance, and look at ways we can improve our impact on the environment. We are conscious of ensuring a sustained environmental commitment.

Find Out More

If your organisation processes liquids, implementing a pigging system will be extremely beneficial.

As well as increasing product yields, pigging can greatly improve efficiency. It could also save massive amounts of waste and water, and improve your organisations green credentials.

To find out more, please contact HPS or your nearest HPS representative.