Stories from Clean Beauty

Only 2 Beauty Companies Made the a-List of a Major Sustainability Report

Kara Jillian Brown

Kara Jillian BrownFebruary 6, 2020

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Photo: Stocksy / Lucas Ottone

As we evolve into more conscientious consumers, more and more brands are formulating products with ingredient lists that are cruelty-free, vegan, and environmentally responsible. With a climate crisis upon us, shopping sustainably isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. And out of thousands of companies considered, a new sustainability report only gave straight A’s to two eco-friendly beauty brands: L’Oréal and Unilever.

CDP Global, a non-profit organization that aims to help create a sustainable economy by measuring and understanding the environmental impact of major entities like companies and cities, released its 2019 report examining how companies impact the climate as well as forests and water security. More than 8,000 companies disclosed sustainability data to CDP. Nearly all reporting companies submitted figures on climate change, while numbers on water security and forests were disclosed by 29 percent and 6 percent of companies, respectively.

Lancôme, Kiehls, and Urban Decay are among the 36 brands owned by L’Oréal. 2020 marks the fourth consecutive year the company earned A’s in all three categories. The brand is committed to zero-net emissions by 2050, says Alexandra Palt, executive vice president and chief corporate responsibility officer at L’Oréal.

“Climate change is no longer a distant or future generation problem,” said Palt in a press release. “L’Oréal was one of the first companies to set ambitious CO2 reduction targets in its industrial activity and to achieve them. However, this is not enough. We have to go much further and reduce our impact according to what scientific experts demand, and what our planet needs.”

Unilever owns beauty and personal care brands Dove, Love Beauty and Planet, and St. Ives, but also food, water, and home care brands. The company is committed to ensuring that business growth doesn’t happen at the expense of people and the planet, their website says. According to a 2019 article from the Guardian, Unilever CEO Alan Jope warned that the brand will sell off brands that damage the planet.

Aside from eco-friendly beauty brands L’Oréal and Unilever, just four other companies scored A’s across the board. The rest have some catching up to do.

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