Rest of the World
America: Cosmetics Summit
Highlights Sustainability Shortcomings
The 2nd Latin American edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit drew
to a successful close at the end of September in São Paulo. The summit
highlighted shortcomings in the sustainable development of the cosmetics
industry. Although Latin American firms are leading in some areas of
sustainability like ethical sourcing and biodiversity, greater steps
need to taken to reduce the environmental impact of cosmetic
formulations and packaging.
Over 150 senior executives from the cosmetics industry convened in Sao
Paulo to discuss sustainability issues. The summit showcased industry
best-practices from leading companies, such as Grupo Boticário, Natura
Brasil, Unilever and Grupo Pão de Açúcar. Several speakers highlighted
the growing complexity of sustainability; Malu Nunes from Grupo
Boticário stated that sustainability can no longer be an isolated
function, ‘it has to be spread across organization departments’. Natura
Brasil, which has been carbon neutral since 2007, gave details of its
carbon measurement program. The largest cosmetics company in Latin
America has reduced carbon emissions by 28% since 2006 whilst expanding
Difficulties in raw material sourcing were cited as one of the reasons
behind the low production levels of natural and organic cosmetics.
Although cosmetic companies are interested in green formulations, very
few have developed certified products. Arte dos Aromas and Feito Brasil
Cosméticos were presented as two Brazilian companies that have managed
to overcome the technical hurdles. IBD Certification and Ecocert gave an
update on the adoption rates of their standards in the region. According
to IBD Certification, government regulations were preventing the organic
cosmetics market from taking off. The panel discussion was on the
environmental impact of ingredients, with some debate whether
plant-based materials were always more sustainable then synthetics.
Approaches to reduce the environmental footprint of packaging were also
featured. Karen Santos, CEO of Creez Communicação e Design, encouraged
cosmetic firms to think of packaging waste as materials for new products
via the cradle-to-cradle design approach. To reduce packaging waste, the
retailer Grupo Pão de Açúcar has set up recycling stations at its
stores. The cosmetics association ABIHPEC is working with local
government agencies to set up reverse logistics schemes to remove
packaging from waste streams. In its paper, ACV Brasil stated companies
should also factor in social impacts when considering life cycle
In the marketing session, a number of papers highlighted the pervading
influence of digital technology. In his speech on social media, Gabriel
Borges CEO of Ampfy said ‘the internet has changed the game of
communication...giving everyone a voice!’ Cosmetic brands were
encouraged to utilize social media to build partnerships with consumers.
The growth in mobile devices was making TV the secondary screen to most
consumers, according to the agency DP6. Other speakers covered digital
marketing and sustainability communications.
Discussions about sustainable development of the cosmetics industry will
continue in the upcoming Asia-Pacific (Hong Kong, 11-13th November)
edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit. More details are on the
The aim of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit is to encourage
sustainability in the beauty industry by bringing together key
stake-holders and debate major sustainability issues in a high-level
forum. The 2nd Latin American edition was hosted at the Pestana São
Paulo hotel on 18-20th September. The summit materials are available for
a professional fee. More information is available from
Source: News Release
South Africa: Green
Wines Taking Off
Plastic bottles and worm poop spread on vines are not usually associated
with fine wine, but it is "green" and you can drink it.
The worm dung and the use of plastic were some of the ideas that
produced some of South Africa's best and most sustainable wines and they
were honoured at the Nedbank Green Wine Awards last week.
The wine industry has become a front runner in sustainability in
agriculture, which combines a focus on social and economic factors and
the environment in its practice.
The Backsberg Tread Lightly Chenin Blanc 2012, which is bottled in
plastic, won best value in the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative
category. Simon Back, marketing manager, said the bottles were almost
half a kilogram lighter than traditional glass bottles, meaning that
less fuel was used in transporting them.
Delheim vineyard won Overall Best Farming Practice, as well as Best
Conservation and Community Involvement. For the owners, brother and
sister Victor Sperling and Nora Thiel, the crux of sustainability lies
in human capital. They believe in paying workers decent salaries, giving
training and providing a créche for their children.
"In South Africa we are so far behind in human development," said Thiel.
Delheim has a water disposal system that filters all the water used in
production and allows it to be introduced back into the system.
But no matter what you may be trying to achieve, it needs to be kept
affordable. "The consumer isn't wanting to pay double or triple for a
bottle of wine just because it's 'green'. His conscience doesn't go that
deep," said Etienne Terblanche, who is a viticulturist at Delheim.
Some of the estate's sustainable lines are making a loss, but he hopes
that in a few years, when the soil has healed, they will be more
Inge Kotze, senior manager for the sustainable agriculture programme at
World Wildlife Fund-SA, said marketing had helped sustainability and
organic products take off.
"In wine you can attach your brand to a traceable story and you can sell
that to an aware and sophisticated consumer," she said.
In avenues such as maize and sugar, consumers were less concerned with
knowing how a product was grown. These farmers usually turned to
sustainable practice to alleviate problems with soil or water, not for
"Wine has a romance to it," said Nedbank Group brand executive Greg
Garden. "If you challenge consumers to name one brand of potatoes or
maize, they can't."
With many consumers having a discerning taste for fine wine, there are
considered ample openings for green wines. As Kotze states, wines are
associated with brands and vineyards. By extending the association to
sustainable agriculture, consumer demand
can be tapped. The challenge however is the price premium, especially if
the wine quality does not match consumer expectations.
Developments in the market for sustainable food & beverages are
regularly featured in the Sustainable Foods Summit.
The next edition of
this international series of summits will take place in San Francisco on
22-23 January 2014.
More details are on the
Source: The Mercury (South Africa) / OM
Announces Plans for
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has announced a plan to encourage
and organic food production.
The president pledged that her administration was committed to carrying
out the REal 8.8 billion (USD 4 billion) Agroecology Plan by the end of
her term in December 2014.
Her announcement came a day after protesting farmers occupied the
Agriculture Ministry in capital Brasilia to demand "global action on
food sovereignty" as part of World Food Day celebrations. They called
for better conditions, land reform and transformation of the
agribusiness sector, and rejected over-commercialization of agriculture.
"It is possible for a country to grow, distribute wealth, and at the
same time, preserve and protect the environment," Rousseff said. "With
agroecology, it is possible to produce quality organic food."
"Our country has taken important steps towards the construction of
sustainable development standards" to ensure the success of land
reforms, the president said, adding land expropriations required will
take place by the end of the year.
Related Report:#7003-40 The
Global Market for Organic Food &
Source: News Release