The Pierre Fabre Group, which is behind brands like Avène and Klorane, has unveiled its Green Impact Index, the first rating tool destined to provide users with information on the environmental and societal impact of its cosmetics. It may be a small step for the beauty industry, but it's big progress for consumers, who are increasingly seeking greater transparency about the personal care products they use every day.
Faced with growing consumer demand for reliable and transparent information about their cosmetics, brands are wising up and taking steps. In fact, a variety of initiatives are likely to land in the coming months, to help improve communication around personal care products. Pierre Fabre Group, for example, has just launched its Green Impact Index, designed to measure, improve and share information about the environmental and societal impact of its various brands' cosmetics.
While applications like Yuka and QuelCosmetic already let users get all kinds of facts about personal care products, it can prove considerably more challenging to get the same information from brands themselves. This is something that consumers regret, recent surveys have shown, both in cosmetics and in fashion. However, things could change -- and quickly -- with the introduction of new tools to improve communication, and in total transparency, on the environmental and societal impacts of these products.
Formulas, packaging, certifications
Pierre Fabre's Green Impact Index has been used internally for two years to guarantee the "eco-socio-design" of the group's new cosmetics. It is now being made available to consumers. The aim is to let people find out -- in a matter of clicks -- about the environmental and societal performance of cosmetics from the group's brands by means of letters ranging from A to D, with A indicating that a given product meets a host of environmental and societal performance criteria.
Some may question the reliability, and especially the objectivity, of the methodology behind this index -- and that will undoubtedly be the case for all such tools developed by brands or cosmetics groups. On this point, Pierre Fabre states in a press release that: "The reliability and validity of the methodology have been assessed and endorsed by AFNOR Certification, an independent third-party organization. AFNOR Certification will conduct an annual audit to verify and guarantee the reliability of the ratings carried out by Pierre Fabre on its products."
The methodology behind the Green Impact Index encompasses criteria such as the eco-design of formulas and packaging, the transportation of raw materials, the impact of manufacturing, as well as Made in France, Guaranteed French Origin and Vegan certifications or labeling, plus the brand's corporate social responsibility programs.
For the time being, the scores of certain products are available online , spanning the Pierre Fabre brands Avène, A-Derma, Ducray, Klorane, René Furterer, Naturactive, Elgydium and Arthrodont, and products ranging from face and body creams to shampoos, shower gels and toothpaste, not to mention essential oils and nutritional supplements. The aim now is to regularly add scores for new products, adding them directly to brand websites in the coming months.
"The Green Impact Index is a response to the growing distrust on the part of consumers and patients when it comes to brands and their ability to respect the environment, demonstrate corporate social responsibility and communicate information on these subjects in a transparent and verifiable manner.... For the first time, consumers will be able to choose a cosmetic or family health product with full knowledge of its eco-societal impact and with the assurance of reliable and detailed information, in a simple and straightforward manner," said Eric Ducournau, CEO of the Pierre Fabre Group in a statement.