Follow this Sustainability Blueprint to reduce your brand’s environmental impact

by | Nov 7, 2022

Opening COP27, UN Chief António Guterres warned global leaders: ‘We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.’ As we all know, the beauty industry has a part to play in mitigating climate change and biodiversity loss.

Since its launch, Emma Lewisham Skincare has spearheaded increased industry circularity via open-source resources, including its Sustainability Blueprint. Here are the founder’s top tips for making your brand more planet-friendly

It’s not every day that a beauty brand receives an endorsement from the United Nations Messenger of Peace, Dr Jane Goodall. ‘Emma Lewisham is demonstrating what it means to be a truly sustainable business,’ Goodall wrote. ‘Through its carbon positive and circular business model, the brand is creating environmental prosperity and showing its peers that this business model is not just possible but paramount if we are to make a meaningful difference.’

Last year, the brand owner – who has successfully become the first carbon-positive beauty brand – made her sustainability strategy free for everyone to download. Having tried and tested the measures on her eponymous line, these strategies make going circular simple.

In an open letter to her competitors, Lewisham says: ‘In moving to a circular model of beauty where refills are the status quo and every piece of packaging is recycled, it is estimated that the beauty industry could reduce carbon emissions by up to 70% while eliminating waste and creating a truly beautiful, beauty industry.

‘I hope that united, we can not only transition to a circular industry but one where we embrace collaboration and are able to find solutions – together.’

Here is Emma Lewisham’s double-pronged strategy for becoming more sustainable:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 

The report reads: ‘Packaging is also the single largest contributor of carbon emissions in beauty’. To tackle this, Emma says that brands must adopt a refill system and play a part in educating consumers on recycling.

It goes on to say: ‘Refills are the future of beauty (however) it’s also important to ensure that all materials used can be recycled or composted at the end of their life – feeding back into the circular model.’

Sustainability Blueprint

Chart your supply chains

The first step to becoming carbon positive is to map every part of your production process. From sourcing and formulations to transport and packaging, by setting out your product’s entire journey, you’ll be able to measure its carbon output accordingly.

Emma says: ‘The next step is finding a reputable third party organisation who is able to support you throughout the carbon mapping process, then audit your findings and provide you with certification.’

She also notes that it is incredibly beneficial to devote one member of staff to the mapping process, this means that details are less likely to slip through the net. Sure, this is an exhaustive and time-consuming process, but knowing exactly where and when your products are producing emissions will help you make the most efficient cuts.

You can read the full report here.

Interested in learning more about beauty’s environmental impact? Read the British Beauty Council’s Courage to Change Report and learn how to stamp out greenwashing with the Planet Positive Beauty Guide

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