The sustainable beauty revolution: Meeting cosmetics and personal care industry challenges head-on in 2024

Our experts highlighted five key themes to guide action in the coming year toward a sustainable future.

For the cosmetics and personal care industry, 2024 represents a year of opportunity to move beyond sustainability pledges and implement tangible actions. Our experts highlighted five key themes to guide action in the coming year toward a sustainable future where both business and the well-being of the planet thrive. 

1. Increase consumer education and engagement

The product use phase is responsible for 40% of the cosmetic industry’s environmental impact. While companies can set sustainability strategies and act themselves, changes in consumer behavior are imperative to making real progress on sustainability goals. Changes in consumer habits, through a mix of education and incentivization, can help companies deliver on their sustainability commitments. The industry is working to increase consumer awareness and engagement through the EcoBeautyScore, a harmonized environmental score for cosmetics products. 

2. Embrace ecodesign and circularity

Companies need to maximize their business impact within planetary boundaries by integrating ecodesign into every stage of product development, distribution and disposal. By approaching product production through a holistic, sustainable lens, companies open doors to new opportunities while also avoiding potential negative trade-offs, such as solutions that may advance climate goals but contribute to land degradation. 

3. Incorporate new ingredients

The cosmetics and personal care industry is witnessing a notable sustainability trend driven by the incorporation of new and innovative ingredients into products. Preserving nature and biodiversity can open the door to new plants and species that can be utilized for innovative cosmetics ingredients. 

4. Drive climate action toward a net-zero future

In order to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the cosmetics industry needs to make more significant progress on climate goals. Cosmetics companies have several practices they can operationalize to accelerate this journey from sustainable sourcing and circularity to product labelling, supply chain decarbonization and innovative packaging solutions. 

5. Adopt an integrated nature strategy and set science-based targets

While many cosmetics companies have a strategy in place to address their climate impacts, there’s also a growing awareness of the industry’s impacts and dependencies on nature, including biodiversity. Cosmetics and personal care companies need to assess their nature-related risks and dependencies, set science-based targets for nature and develop a detailed action plan to achieve their 2030 goals.  

Share this article

Latest resources