Improving efficiency and sustainability in the cosmetics industry
Cosmetics and personal care products play an important role in modern day society. Personal care products such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste are part of basic hygiene, while sunscreens and rash lotions play an important role in skin protection. Even products such as mascara and foundations are key in expressing one’s image and personality.
From the initial sourcing of raw materials through to consumer use and disposal, the cosmetics supply chain has an impact across multiple stakeholders. And it has issues similar to those of other consumer goods industries, such as consumer health, the sustainable sourcing of raw materials, social and ethical issues, risk management and brand protection.
Key challenges in the cosmetics industry:
- Consumer health
- Ethical sourcing and origin of ingredients
- Organic and sustainable production methods
- Green chemistry formulation
- Energy sources & use
- Carbon, water and waste management
- Operational efficiency
- Risk management
- Fraud and brand protection
An example: shea butter
Shea nuts are a traditional crop, sourced by millions of rural women in Western-Africa. Its end product, shea butter, is used as an ingredient for cooking, to make cosmetics, chocolates (as substitute for cocoa butter), pharmaceutical applications, and soap. From April to September, nuts are collected and processed. However, the market is disconnected from production and has limited transparency. This makes it difficult to see the true impact of this commodity. The millions of rural women only partly benefit from the commodities popularity, which results in endured poverty and limits their role in society. Creating more transparency in the shea supply chain, connecting them better to the market will help improve their livelihood and ensure children go to school instead of helping with harvesting.
“Sourced by millions of rural women, the shea nut supply chain has zero traceability and very limited transparency. Production and market are disconnected.”
through to consumer use and disposal, has an impact on sustainability.
Solutions for efficient and sustainable cosmetics supply chains
ChainPoint’s software platform is well suited to supply chains in the cosmetics industry. Examples of applications include tracing cosmetic ingredients back to their origin, making sure they are sourced sustainably, or auditing and certifying suppliers to give assurance to consumers about the absence of bio-accumulative toxic ingredients.
ChainPoint connects all supply chain stakeholders in one platform, which creates supply chain transparency and visibility, helping to improve operational efficiency whilst reducing costs. A number of Chain of Custody models are available in ChainPoint to assess the overall impact from the very start of the supply chain.
From the shea nuts harvested in Africa – to create shea butter – to the use of palm oil sourced from Indonesia, cosmetic ingredients have a high impact when sourced unsustainably. ChainPoint enables cosmetics companies to have full supply chain insight and visibility in order to make informed decisions.
Sustainable Cosmetics Solution Paper
The many challenges in cosmetics and personal care supply chains share one common point: whatever the challenge, collecting data and turning this data into actionable information will always be needed. That’s where ChainPoint’s flexible and configurable platform comes in, connecting supply chains to create visibility and traceability. In our latest solution paper we have highlighted the challenges and how ChainPoint’s technology can help solve them. Please download this complimentary report using the button below.
More information on sustainable cosmetics
Contact us to learn more about our solutions for cosmetics and personal care supply chains.