Trump White House moves swiftly against issues of import to the cosmetics and personal care industry

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Trump White House moves swiftly against issues of import to the cosmetics and personal care industry

Related tags Personal care Human rights campaign

On Friday, inauguration day here in the States, a lot of changes took place as the Obama administration came to an end and a new team took power. As part of this transition, social and environmental policy pages were removed from the site.

Both the LGBT Rights and Climate Change pages came down on Friday, signaling what could be a new era of US policy in these areas.

LGBT rights

For multinational personal care corporations, indie beauty brands, and new makeup startup companies alike, the rights of people—employees and consumers—matter. And many industry businesses have made LGBT rights a fundamental initiative through inclusive HR policies and programs as well as through consumer campaigns, advertising, and more.  

Unilever, for instance, in a press release issued just last month cataloged a selection of the company’s policies and programs: “Unilever supports the LGBT community through its diversity and inclusion initiatives including the Ad Council’s “Love Has No Labels” campaign, purpose-driven brands, such as Ben & Jerry’s and Dove, and support at various pride marches,” ​explained the personal care maker.

Unilever’s PRIDE Group (People Respecting Individuality, Diversity and Equality) is an LGBT Business Resource Group open to all Unilever employees that share a common goal of endorsing respect, individuality, diversity and equality throughout the organization.” ​And Unilever went on to note that the company “offers employee benefits including gender affirmation surgery, hormone therapy, egg freezing, in vitro fertilization, adoption assistance and equal medical coverage for same-gender partners.”

For this, the company received a 100, the top possible score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Avon and Estée Lauder also received a 100 score in the HRC’s most recent index report. Commending businesses like these, Chad Griffin, president of HRC, remarked, “even in the face of relentless attempts to undermine equality, America’s leading companies and law firms remain steadfast and committed to supporting and defending the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people,”​ as Cosmetics Design reported​ when the latest CEI report was announced in December.

Climate change

Just over one week after the 2016 presidential election, on Wednesday November 17, hundreds of US-based companies (personal care and cosmetics makers and suppliers among them) penned an open letter to Donald Trump​ and world leaders. The letter posted to​ is a recommitment from the signing companies to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement. And it urges “continued US participation in the Paris Agreement, in order to provide the long-term direction needed to keep global temperature rise below 2°C.”

L’Oréal USA, Unilever, DuPont, and Johnson & Johnson are among the personal care and cosmetic companies and suppliers that signed the letter. Commenting for the press, Paulette Frank, VP of environment, health, safety and sustainability, at Johnson & Johnson, said, “We are proud supporters of a Low-Carbon USA because as the largest, most broadly based healthcare company in the world, we understand that healthy people need a healthy planet.”

She went on to emphasize the company’s commitment to sustainable energy, “we have and will continue to do our part to reduce our carbon emissions and increase our use of renewable energy until we reach our ultimate aspiration of 100% renewable electricity.”


As is the convention for preserving historical government documents, the LGBT Rights and Climate Change content that had previously been online during the Obama administration has been archived to

Nonetheless, the new administration’s decision to go live with such bald-faced erasure of ongoing government initiatives is telling. And, the content going up in its stead signals that forthcoming policies will be drastically different: “President Trump is committed to eliminating…policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.”

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