Cosmetic - Ecology Question 7

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EN: Does the brand have a policy to replace petroleum-based ingredients with renewable, biodegradable ingredients?
NL: Heeft het merk (bedrijf) een beleid om alle op aardolie gebaseerde ingrediënten te vervangen door hernieuwbare, biologisch afbreekbare ingrediënten?
DE: Verfolgt der Markenhersteller eine Strategie, um alle erdölbasierten Inhaltsstoffe durch erneuerbare, biologisch abbaubare Inhaltsstoffe zu ersetzen?


There is quite some consensus in the cosmetics sector that plant derived ingredients (renewable, biodegradable) are environmentally preferable over synthetic ingredients. See e.g. the Dutch association for Cosmetics, and 'natural' is also propagated by L’Oreal, and also the 7th principle of Green Chemistry as propagated by L’Oreal.

Renewability and biodegradability are important aspects of environmental sustainability but do not cover the full life cycle of materials. Based on Life Cycle Analysis, natural ingredients such as unsustainably produced palm oil can more environmentally damaging than their petroleum-based counterparts. That is why these criteria are not stand-alone, but should be considered as a positive step in making cosmetics more sustainable. With our further criteria we stipulate the next possible steps.

Here we ask for a concrete policy with time-bound targets using the metric of overall ratio of biodegradable/renewable content over the total use of ingredients, in weight. Overall here means for the full cosmetic range of the brand (if not available: company), worldwide. There is no minimum level required for this question, as it is required for the next questions.

Answering Guidelines

- [Brand] uses only natural, renewable ingredients.
- [Brand] already uses [percentage over 90]% renewable ingredients.
- [Brand] has a policy to increase the overall use of renewable ingredients, which was (percentage)% in (year), and should be increased to (percentage)% by (year).

- [Brand] does not intend to replace petroleum-based ingredients with renewable, biodegradable ingredients.
- [Brand] mentions a policy to increase the use of renewable ingredients, but there is no time bound target / there is no clear indication of current performance level, so it is not clear how substantial this policy really is.
- [Brand] does not specify to replace petroleum-based ingredients with renewable, biodegradable ingredients.

Note: when linking to a downloadable source document, please refer to the page(s) where to find the respective information with: (see link, page [..]).

Optional, but only for ? Answers, feel free to write at the end of a remark: Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices.

Further resources