This will be the main question to be discussed at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit Latin America hosted in São Paulo on 10-12th September.
Latin America is now established as a major producer of natural ingredients and ecological products. The region has almost 20% share of global organic farmland, and is the biggest producer of sustainable commodities, such as coffee, cocoa, sugar and soya beans. In the cosmetics industry, the biomes of Brazil are a hotbed of natural ingredients. Rainforest specialties, such as açaí, pracaxi, andiroba, copaiba, and annatto, have made their way in cosmetic and personal care applications across the globe.
“Although Brazil and Latin America have become major exporters, they remain small consumer of green products. Less then 2% of global natural and organic cosmetics sales are from the region. Latin American brands are using indigenous natural ingredients however most cosmetic formulations remain conventional, with the presence of synthetic preservatives, emulsifiers, surfactants and emollients. Furthermore, few cosmetic companies have adopted coherent sustainability strategies to address their ecological impacts,” said Organic Monitor, the organiser of the Summit.
By focusing on green formulations (ingredients) and sustainability metrics, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit aims to address some of the sustainability shortcomings in the Latin American cosmetics industry. For instance, Dalberto Adulis from Instituto Akatu will discuss approaches to encourage sustainable consumption of cosmetic and personal care products. Paulo Pianez, Sustainability Director of Carrefour Brasil, will share the retailer’s experiences in measuring sustainability. L’Oreal will state how metrics were used to set targets in its ‘Sharing Beauty for All’ sustainability strategy.
With many Latin American brands grappling with green formulations, the summit devotes a session and workshop to green ingredients. Judi Beerling, Head of Technical Research at Organic Monitor, will give an interactive workshop to guide brands on how to replace synthetic emulsifiers, surfactants and emollients in product formulations. Details will be given on green alternatives to SLS / SLES and related petrochemicalbased materials. Marie Harris from Instituto Harris will highlight the safety issues associated with natural ingredients. Other papers will cover innovating using natural actives, green preservation approaches, sustainable botanicals, and developing certified natural & organic cosmetics.