Kenvue Global Head of ESG provides insight into inaugural sustainability report

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

The report "serves as a lever for creating value for our brands, our business, and society at large. We recognize that it enhances our brands' reputation and is increasingly important for investors, major customers, and consumers who seek products that benefit both themselves and the planet," said Pamela Gill Alabaster, Global Head of ESG & Sustainability at Kenvue. © Dilok Klaisataporn Getty Images
The report "serves as a lever for creating value for our brands, our business, and society at large. We recognize that it enhances our brands' reputation and is increasingly important for investors, major customers, and consumers who seek products that benefit both themselves and the planet," said Pamela Gill Alabaster, Global Head of ESG & Sustainability at Kenvue. © Dilok Klaisataporn Getty Images

Related tags sustainable beauty Sustainable packaging green beauty

Kenvue's first-ever Healthy Lives Mission report showcases significant strides in corporate sustainability under Pamela Gill Alabaster's leadership, emphasizing validated science-based targets, impactful climate action initiatives, and a commitment to transparency and accountability.

Kenvue, a leader in the beauty and personal care industry, has released its inaugural Healthy Lives Mission report​, detailing significant strides in corporate sustainability. An initiative led by Pamela Gill Alabaster, Global Head of ESG & Sustainability at Kenvue, the report highlights a comprehensive strategy centered around three core pillars: promoting healthy people, nurturing a healthy planet, and adopting sustainable practices.

Key achievements outlined in the report include validated science-based targets, impactful climate action initiatives across scopes one, two, and three, and substantial investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. For example, as noted in the report, Kenvue's "investments in energy efficiency and decarbonization projects have resulted in Scope 1 and 2 GHG reductions of 26% since 2020," and the company has increased its "use of renewable electricity to 65% through 18 onsite solar-powered electricity systems and offsite renewable electricity procurement contracts."

Additionally, Kenvue has set ambitious goals to reduce virgin plastic use and enhance recyclability in its packaging, aligning with Circular Economy principles.

We spoke to Alabaster for her insights into how the report underscores Kenvue's commitment to transparency and accountability, and also sets a benchmark for integrating sustainability into business practices, reflecting the company's dedication to creating a positive impact on both society and the environment.

CDU: Could you please provide brief overview of your career experience and your role at Kenvue?

Pam Gill Alabaster (PAG)​: I have spent over 30 years in the beauty and personal care space. Most recently, I joined from Mattel, the toy company, where I led ESG sustainability and social impact.

Before that, I was at Revlon, leading corporate communications and CSR. Prior to that, I was recruited to Estee Lauder to build their corporate sustainability practice and their first sustainability strategy.

I also had a 21-year career at L'Oréal, where I spent half of my time building big brands like L'Oréal Paris and Lancôme, and the other half developing corporate functions such as corporate communications, public affairs, government relations, and sustainable development, which we initiated in 2005. Since 2005, I've been focused on leveraging my skills to drive impact.

CDU: Can you provide a brief overview of the inaugural Healthy Lives Mission report and highlight the achievements of the past year?

PAG​: Certainly. The Healthy Lives Mission is one of the ways we live our purpose—to realize the extraordinary power of everyday care. As an ESG strategy, it helps us manage the impacts we create through our business operations, as well as the associated risks and opportunities.

It serves as a lever for creating value for our brands, our business, and society at large. We recognize that it enhances our brands' reputation and is increasingly important for investors, major customers, and consumers who seek products that benefit both themselves and the planet.

Sustainability also helps us attract top talent, especially among early career professionals who are drawn to values-led organizations or those driven by purpose. In my role within the growth organization, we strongly believe that sustainability drives growth and innovation.

The strategy outlined in the report is structured around three pillars: healthy people, healthy planet, and healthy practices, covering nine material topics where we can make a significant positive impact. We've set 21 goals and commitments to hold ourselves accountable for demonstrating progress and performance.

June 25th marked the release of the report, and I'm incredibly proud of what we've achieved in just one year. We've validated our science-based targets, established the strategy, and published our first report.

Beyond these milestones, last April, we formed a cross-functional ESG Steering Committee to bring together diverse subject matter experts and perspectives to inform and operationalize our strategy. They've been instrumental in ensuring proper resource allocation, eliminating roadblocks, and executing detailed plans against our nine priority topics with excellence.

Additionally, over the past year, I've built a team of like-minded practitioners, whom we affectionately call our "merry band," all dedicated to making a daily impact. It's been a very eventful first year for us at Kenvue, and I'm eagerly anticipating what lies ahead.

CDU: You've already touched on how the report aligns with Kenvue's overall mission and vision. Have you received any feedback from the industry since its release?

PAG​: Internally, yes. Our leadership team, steering committee, and colleagues all share a tremendous sense of pride when they see the culmination of our efforts in one comprehensive document. It energizes us to reflect on what we've accomplished and inspires hope for the future.

Our mission emphasizes the link between healthy people and a healthy planet, recognizing that managing our impacts and stewarding our resources responsibly are critical. Just as small acts of care promote health and well-being, the same principle applies to caring for our environment and our planet. Every small action matters and collectively creates meaningful impact.

CDU: That sentiment resonates with what I've heard at sustainable packaging summits and similar events, where the importance of individual actions is emphasized. Regarding the metrics and indicators used to measure the success of these initiatives, are there any specific ones you'd like to highlight?

PAG​: Absolutely. We focus on time-bound, measurable goals, particularly in climate action across scopes one, two, and three. We're making significant investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to reduce our carbon footprint.

Addressing plastics is another priority, as we recognize our role in global plastic waste challenges. We've set goals to reduce virgin plastic use and prioritize recyclability in our packaging designs, incorporating Circular Economy principles.

At Kenvue, our packaging strategy starts with reducing material usage, then replacing less sustainable materials, designing for reuse or refill, and finally ensuring recyclability. These goals drive our packaging innovations and environmental stewardship efforts.

Additionally, we're committed to advancing gender diversity within our organization. While women make up over 50% of our workforce and management positions, we aim to further increase representation in senior leadership roles to better reflect our broader population.

CDU: As the Global Head of ESG and Sustainability at Kenvue, what are your priorities for advancing the ESG agenda, and how are you leveraging your previous experiences in this role?

PAG​: Both consumer goods industries—whether personal care or toys—share common sustainability principles. They involve sourcing raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, and consumer use. Our portfolio of brands at Kenvue, brands like Listerine, Neutrogena, BAND-AID, that are in many households, have significant influence and trust with consumers, and I believe that brands have an unbelievable power to create cultural conversations and that can drive positive change.

At Kenvue, we're in a startup phase, focusing on building foundational processes, systems, and tools. We're actively involved in initiatives like the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and human rights impact assessments.

My experience at previous companies has equipped me to navigate emerging regulations, identify trends, and seize opportunities that can impact our business and inform our board of directors. The common thread across these experiences is recognizing the transformative power of brands to drive positive outcomes.

CDU: How is Kenvue addressing these aspects beyond issuing reports like this one?

PAG​: Transparency and accountability are central to our approach. Initiatives like this interview, where we openly discuss our efforts, and participating in conferences, panels, and webinars demonstrate our commitment to building trust through transparency.

We also engage with investors outside of regular reporting cycles to discuss our ESG strategy and performance. These efforts collectively aim to foster trust and transparency with stakeholders.

CDU: What message would you like to convey to stakeholders about Kenvue's commitment to creating healthier lives and a healthier planet?

PAG​: At Kenvue, we firmly believe that healthy people thrive on a healthy planet. Our commitment extends not just to the present but also to future generations. As parents, we consider the world we're leaving for our children and their children. Through initiatives like the Healthy Lives Mission, we're charting a course for Kenvue to play its part in promoting health and ensuring a sustainable future.

CDU: Is there anything else you'd like to share that we didn't cover today?

PAG​: I would encourage everyone to stay tuned. We have many more impactful actions, programs, and initiatives in the pipeline. We'll continue leveraging our talent, passion, resources, and brands to drive positive change in the world.    

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