Well known for its regulatory expertise, Cosmed - the professional association of the cosmetics industry in France representing 920 SMEs and ETIs - has added a new global service to assist companies in mastering their ecological transition.
The ecological transition is at the heart of the "France Recovery" plan announced by the government. Some 30 billion euros have been earmarked to reduce carbon emissions by 40 % by 2030 and to support the development of green technologies. But for companies, the concrete impacts are now coming to light. By 2019, Cosmed had answered 3,000 questions from industry, 350 of which were already environmental. In 2020, more than 1,000 environment-related questions were answered, a threefold increase, in just 10 months. More than a signal, this figure is for Cosmed a powerful siren calling for action. Since the end of 2018, an "environmental watch" project was in preparation. Listening to and meeting the expectations of companies convinced to move to a higher dimension.
The needs of companies
The cosmetics industry is not new to environmental and societal issues. The beginnings date back to 1974. Seven cosmetic companies were even named in 2012, among the most ethical and committed firms in the world, by Ethisphere Institute, an independent American NGO. According to the Cosmed Barometer of Key Indicators for the industry (4th quarter 2020), 76 % of executives will direct their investments towards the ecological transition. They are especially aware that the timing of the change is now imposed, both by the consumer and his representatives, and by the legislator. 83 % of consumers want products to be designed and manufactured in an environmentally friendly way, and are asking for proof. Also, the expectations of managers are formulated in a very pragmatic way: what is the current state of my project? What actions should I start with? How can I finance it over the long term? How can I manage change on my industrial site? How can I enhance the value of my actions and investments for the consumer throughout the progress process, while complying with the various regulations? What certifications should I aim for in the long term?
Changes in products (eco-design, LCA, limiting or replacing plastic, etc.) represent the first efforts and essential changes at the first level. Energy and water savings, carbon footprint improvement, waste reduction... logically follow the implementation of good environmental practices. In the medium term, managers have every interest in closely following the concept of the "company with a mission", initiated by the Pact law voted in 2019. A new virtuous legal status focused on environmental and societal values, but likely to profoundly change governance models, the relationship between general management and shareholders, the role of employees... Cosmed will accompany companies through all these stages.
The Cosmed Environment service is built on five actions that are particularly expected by companies: a diagnosis, a recommendation for the definition of the strategy and action plan, an ongoing evaluation, the search for co-financing, and above all, assistance in coordinating the actions of stakeholders, whether internal or external to the company. The Cosmed Environment service was designed to prepare for ISO 14001 certification (environmental management standard).
According to Cosmed, this is the first global environmental service dedicated to the cosmetics industry. This "business" knowledge facilitates the implementation of adapted action plans, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. "A long-term collaboration has been established with Corinne Lepage, former Minister of the Environment. She and her team have a very sharp prospective vision on technological, regulatory or legislative evolutions and on tomorrow's opinion trends.says Cosmed.