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Exclusive interview

Aveda opens up on how sustainability has become integral to its business

By Simon Pitman , 30-Aug-2012
Last updated on 11-Sep-2012 at 01:08 GMT

A leading Aveda executive has spoken to Cosmetics Design in an exclusive interview where she highlights the fact that sustainability is integral to how the company does business.

“Sustainability is integral to how we do business, and how we can innovate to meet and exceed our consumers - and our own –expectations,” said Liliana George, Ph.D., executive director, corporate R&D green innovation/Global Aveda Skin Care.

I am thrilled by the scientific challenge to find ways to continue to deliver enhanced performance and superior aesthetics while using sustainable practices where we can.  Sustainability is a journey - An exciting journey."

Drilling down on the subject, Dr. George went on to explain how this has made ethical business practices a core part in the manufacturing of its entire product portfolio, from the sourcing of ingredients, to the materials and design of the packaging.

Green tools lead to exceptional green products

“We consider the environmental impact products have throughout their entire life cycle which includes working to find or develop technology for the sustainable design and manufacturing of the cosmetic ingredients and our packaging. I expect that when the cosmetic chemist has more green 'tools' to work with, we will see exceptional green product introductions,” Dr. George said.

Dr. George will be explaining in greater detail about the company’s philosophy with regards to CSR and sustainability when she gives a presentation at the forthcoming Organic Monitor Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, which will be held in Sao Paulo in the last week of September.

Another integral part of Aveda’s philosophy has been to incorporate the promotion of ethical and sustainable practices into the manufacturing framework since the company’s was born.

Ethical and sustainable practices combined

“When the company was founded in 1978 the original vision was to create products derived from plants that would exceed customer expectations for performance and well-being, and be produced in a way that was respectful of the natural environment and the communities in which, and with which, Aveda did business,” said Dr. George.

“This vision has guided Aveda for nearly 35 years, whether in product and packaging design, manufacturing operations practices, relationships with our suppliers – especially traditional and indigenous communities that provide many of our botanical ingredients and essential oils – and how we give back to communities, especially through our annual Earth Month program that has raised over $26 million since 1999 to support environmental and societal needs around the world.”

Cradle to Cradle seal of approval

The company has also secured the certification of a number of its products by the non-profit organization Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute, in recognition of the fact that these products are actually deemed to be good for the environment, rather than just being ‘eco-efficient’.

“The positive vision of Cradle-to-Cradle fits Aveda's mission, our commitment to doing business in a responsible, sustainable manner, and our long-term commitment to the Ceres Principles,” said Dr. George.

The Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will take place in São Paulo, 24 – 26th September and the event will consist of a one day workshop on green cosmetics and sustainable business opportunities together with two days of presentations, covering ingredients, marking, ethical sourcing and sustainability.

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