Beauty industry stands up for Paris Climate Agreement, despite US plans to back out

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty industry stands up for Paris Climate Agreement, despite US plans to back out
Leading cosmetics and personal care companies, including L’Oréal, The Estée Lauder Companies, and Unilever, remain committed to the Paris Agreement. This despite a recent announcement that this country will be withdrawing from the Agreement that builds on The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

On June 1st Donald Trump announced that the US will begin the process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.

Months earlier cosmetics and personal care industry companies were encouraging him to do otherwise. And in May, some were still optimistic that an open letter would persuade him to remain committed to the Agreement.

Early warning

As Cosmetics Design reported​, not long after the presidential election here in the States (November 8, 2016), hundreds of businesses penned an open letter to Trump and to world leaders in general asking them to abide by the Paris Agreement, supporting a low-carbon economy and minimize global temperature rise.

Among the companies signing onto that letter were L’Oréal and Unilever, as well as ingredient makers DuPont, Biosynthetic Technologies, and Cocoestolide.  

Then during the first week of May 2017 another letter went out as a full-page newspaper ad in The New York Times, The New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal, which opened with this statement in bold: “As some of the largest companies based or operating in the United States, we strongly urge you to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement on climate change.” ​Unilever and DSM were among that letter’s signatories.

Unstoppable force

Within moments of the announcement that this country would begin the withdrawal process, US government officials, academic leaders, and prominent corporations began speaking out about their intention to abide by the Agreement regardless of the country’s new formal position.

The site, which is “an open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris Agreement from U.S. state, local, and business leaders,” ​lists hundreds of local governments, business, and institutions that are standing up to the Trump administration.

The Estée Lauder Companies (that company’s Aveda brand), L’Oreal, Unilever (and Seventh Generation), and Nestlé US have signed the #WeAreStillIn letter; as have smaller companies including Beautycounter, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, and Hand in Hand Soap. Ingredient maker Royal DSM has signed on. The mass-market retailer Target has as well. And, companies like Biomimicry 3.8 and 23 and Me, which both partner with beauty on occasion, have signed the letter too.

“In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities, businesses and investors, representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions,”​ explains the letter.

“The health and beauty of our planet”

Yesterday, The Estée Lauder Companies posted a short item on the corporate site reaffirming the company’s commitment to sustainability, but, more boldly, acting as an example for other companies around the globe.

ELC's Stand Against Climate Change post opens, “The Estée Lauder Companies is proud to be a part of the fight against climate change. We consider it our responsibility as a global company, employer and corporate citizen.”

And it continues, explaining that “We believe that working together toward a low-carbon future will help ensure a healthier and safer world for all, which is why we are standing with cities, states and businesses across the U.S. to lead the fight against climate change.”

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