L’Oreal Interview on SPICE (Sustainable Packaging Initiative for CosmEtics)

Ahead of his presentation at Sustainability in Packaging Europe 2018, we interviewed Philippe Bonningue, Group Global Director of Sustainable Packaging & Development of L’Oréal, France and Camille Rosay and Sustainability Consultant of Quantis, France.

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Your session on the SPICE initiative specifically talks about increasing sustainability within cosmetics, why do you think this is an important topic now?

At L'Oreal, we believe we have a responsibility to bring sustainable solutions and services to the consumer.
Equally important, we think that having a shared and harmonized methodology, within the cosmetics industry, to assess the environmental footprint of the Packaging is favorable to act purposely, to clarify the information and then to help the consumers in their ‘responsible’ behaviors, their awareness, their consumption. This is the purpose of the SPICE initiative.

Part of the major program ‘Sharing Beauty With All’, L’Oreal has committed to improve 100% of their new products. To do so, an assessment tool was necessary to create, as nothing was existing on the market within the ambitious vision of assessing all criteria all along the life of the cosmetic product, for environmental and for social aspects.

The SPOT methodology (Sustainable Product Optimization Tool) was born, with a partnership with Quantis and EY. Sharing it with the key players in the cosmetic industry will help shape the future of sustainable packaging.

What sort of partnerships and collaborations do you think will be necessary to drive the industry forward? What steps did you take to build your partnership with Quantis?

As Quantis is renowned in environmental footprint field , we asked them to help us create the SPOT methodology, building up on our internal environmental/social/cosmetics expertise, and challenging our directions with a panel of key stakeholders.

To drive the industry forward, it is necessary to co-build the methodologies that will bring clarity and benefits to the consumer. This is the purpose of SPICE, and this will require a level of sharing and openness never reached before, in this very competitive market. But this is needed, for the consumer, as for the planet.

What do you see as the most significant changes coming up in packaging sustainability in the next 12-24 months?

The consciousness of the need for a real circular economy in order to help deal with waste and preserve the natural resources  leads to many initiatives, programs, commitments around circular economy, and most specifically on plastics economy. Efforts to achieve reduce the use of materials, to enable the reduction in use of virgin plastic, or in a broader way, the use of resources for packaging, supported with digital capabilities will set a true milestone and an acceleration in the coming months.

What are you seeing as the biggest stumbling blocks in industry?

Any change starts with many challenges that we overcome one by one. In terms of sustainability for the packaging, the challenge is to keep the performances of the service offered to the consumer, at the level they are used to have , or even better.

Among others and as an example, just for the recycled material scope, the challenges we have to fix together, touch fields such the safety, availability, cost, quality, technical performances, recycling, ….

This is why it is important to have the whole industry , all along the value chain, be part of the great vision for sustainability. Being together will help reach benefits from the scale effect.

5.            Why do you feel it’s important for people to attend Sustainability in Packaging Europe 2018?
              It is important people can access to a wide showcase of what sustainability truly means for packaging and vice-versa.
To have the correct info to make their own thoughts up, based on accurate and open information, is what should be available at Packaging Europe 2018.