Mumbai: Environmental and social responsibility among brands is picking up pace as it begins to impact consumers’ choices.
By the end of 2022, L’Oreal brand Garnier’s packaging in India will display labelling to reveal its environmental and social impact.
In France, L’Oreal is currently testing this on its haircare products, wherein the labelling provides a sustainability score from A to E (A being the best). The score takes into account 14 environmental factors from sourcing, manufacture, transportation, usage to recyclability, and the data is verified by an independent auditor. L’Oreal claims Garnier is the first brand to do this.
L’Oreal India’s consumer products division director Pankaj Sharma told TOI, “Sustainability as a parameter on which consumers make a purchasing decision is on the rise. Safety and quality are the top criteria and price is embedded in the positioning. Between brand and sustainability, there would be a correlation.” Sharma added, “We have picked Garnier first for such an initiative because it sells the maximum number of units. Work is in progress across other brands.” In India, L’Oreal is a leader in the men’s range, while it is among the top two in the hair colour category.
While Garnier has launched the ‘Green Beauty’ initiative, Unilever has globally said it will drop the word ‘normal’ across all its beauty and personal care brands’ packaging and advertising. This is part of its ‘Positive Beauty’ vision and strategy.
Recently, Unilever said the trend is clear — two in three people in India (65%) say they now pay more attention to a company’s stance on societal issues before they buy products than they used to. Six in 10 people (63%) will not buy a product if they do not agree with the company’s vision of diversity and inclusion, even if it offers the best price.Brand strategy specialist Harish Bijoor said, “We live in a choice generation. Environmental and social consciousness falls in this space. When one brand sets its standards higher than the others, the first brand sets a nudge in motion. All other brands suffer the angst of FOMO (fear of missing out) and follow.”
Globally, Garnier has set a target to be zero-virgin plastic in all packaging by 2025, with all of it either reusable, recyclable or compostable. Garnier has also been certified by Cruelty Free International for its commitment against animal testing.
“The pandemic was a wakeup call for all businesses to protect the planet, making sustainable beauty accessible to what we have endeavoured to do and we would like to lead the change,” said Sharma. He added that the company’s factories in India would be carbon-neutral by the end of the year.