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Going Beyond Greenwashing

By Tom Branna

Published March 31, 2009
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There are plenty of companies competing in the global household and personal products industry that take greenwashing to new heights. In fact, executives at companies such as Aveda admit that it is often difficult to figure out exactly what their companies are competing against when product claims get absolutely brazen.

On the household product side, Seventh Generation’s Dave Rapaport notes that consumer product companies cannot relegate sustainability to a particular corner of a business.

“It needs to be central to the business,” he insists.

But at the same time, sustainability need not be a chore. As Pierre Simoncelli of L’Oréal notes, “natural ingredients represent a fantastic playground for cosmetic chemists to work with because they are so complex.”

Some issues surrounding sustainability remain complex too, including raw material sourcing, pricing and product performance. All of these issues can be troubling for sure, but all of them are imminently solvable as well, insist industry observers.

Aveda, Seventh Generation, The Body Shop and several other companies have built their businesses on sustainability. They may have been first, but they certainly aren’t the last. In recent years, multinationals such as Henkel, Procter & Gamble and others have established their own sustainability programs, created the metrics and have measured their progress year in and year out. To find out how these companies are measuring up, be sure to read Sustainable Is Attainable.

This edition of Happi also includes articles on fine fragrance trends, the household cleaner segment, ethnic hair care and the latest patent activity involving polymers for skin care formulas .

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