Good Housekeeping hosts first-annual Green Summit

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Good Housekeeping hosts first-annual Green Summit
The consumer magazine, well-known for its Good Housekeeping Seal and more recently the Green Good Housekeeping Seal, hosted a full-day conference in New York City last week, bringing together experts and advocates to discuss the state and future of ‘green,’ ‘clean,’ and ‘safe’ consumer products.

Subtitled, Raising the Green Bar - Your Roadmap to Sustainability and Success, the sold-out Green Summit event was a joint project of The Good Housekeeping Institute and the non-profit certification group Made Safe. Over the course of the day topics ranged from ethical fashion, safer home furnishing and design materials, environmental concerns, cosmetics and personal care formulations, and more.

Cosmetics Design sat in on the full conference event to get a better sense of the consumer advocacy perspective on green beauty. 

Consumer concern 

Right, wrong, or otherwise, what shoppers believe is important. “In the zeitgeist, there's a belief that [green] matters,” ​said Mehmet Oz, in his remarks at a reception following the conference, adding that, “green is working really well for our audience” ​(a reference to his on-gong television program The Dr. Oz Show).

Good Housekeeping identified green as the next relevant cross-category consumer issue early and added a Green Good Housekeeping Seal to its longstanding emblem program in 2009. Birnur Arnal, director of the health, beauty, and environmental sciences laboratory at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, tells Cosmetics Design that because of the economic recession, “the consumer was not ready to pay more for green products in 2009. Today she is.”

The Green Good Housekeeping Seal as well as the Made Safe certification resonate with consumers, who are concerned about how the products they buy impact human health and safety as well as environmental health and safety, and because of those concerns are seeking information they can trust.

Growing community

The Green Summit brought together people from a wide array of consumer industries and professional disciplines. It was a chance for CSR pros, disruptive brand leaders, scientists, academics, media, and others to learn, network, and exchange ideas.

Momentum behind the green movement is building. In her remarks at the conference, Laurie Jennings, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute called this moment a “tipping point”​ where the capabilities of science, industry, and business; the interest of consumers; and the state of the environment are compelling all things clean, green, and natural forward.

Though she was quick to emphasize that “the consumer is the driving force” ​of the green movement.

Sustainable beauty

A number of speakers featured at Good Housekeeping’s first-annual Green Summit work in or with beauty.

Hillary Peterson, founder of the skin care brand True Botanicals spoke; as did Eric Korman, CEO and founder of the fragrance brand PHLUR; as did Larry Weiss, chief medical officer at AO Biome / Mother Dirt; John Matise, CEO of Eclair Naturals; and Kourosh Maddahi, founder of Oral Essentials. And several other industry leading companies were represented by event attendees.

Annabelle Stamm a senior consultant at Quantis International, also spoke at the conference. She presented on that firm’s 2017 special report Beauty Faces Up To Sustainability.

Her remarks included a quick case study of L’Oréal’s SPOT initiative. SPOT is an acronym for Sustainable Product Optimisation Tool, a tool that was, according to Stamm, developed in partnership with Quantis. SPOT measures the environmental and social impact of products. L’Oréal is using it to not only evaluate existing products and make them more sustainably but also to develop new products better.

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