Nowadays, sustainability has become a key element for any Corporate Social Responsibility Program. However, companies must understand sustainability as a wide concept that involves taking care of both natural and human resources. When it comes to BPC companies, this must involve the whole supply chain and production waste stands at the center of this challenge.
Production waste implies the unnecessary depletion of materials and energy as a result of manufacturing processes. It has thus become a major concern for ethically-oriented consumers, who are increasingly informed and demand increasing transparency and coherence from companies.
In order to meet this demand, it’s essential to understand the role of production waste and how companies can guarantee sustainability across their supply chain by targeting it and applying circular economy concepts.
Why care about production waste and sustainability
BPC brands are increasingly aware of how Corporate Social Responsibility around sustainability plays a substantial role in today’s market. In fact, as revealed by Euromonitor International Voice of the Industry Survey in June 2020, 73% of companies think sustainability is important because of brand reputation.
The change has been slowly led by a shift in consumer behaviour. The same survey reveals the majority of consumers are willing to buy products from brands which are aligned with their ethical values, and perceive doing so as an active participation in political and social issues.
Facing this profound transformation, companies are willing to respond with various actions, including developing sustainable products, guaranteeing sustainable ingredient sourcing and building supply chain resilience.
This speaks of sustainability as a holistic concept that must traverse companies at all levels (from installations and technologies, to product design and the selection of the right suppliers) in order to significantly reduce their environmental impact.
Transparency around ingredients and their sourcing is rewarded by the final client, as our interview with Dr. Tang Sheng Nan revealed: in fact, the effectiveness perceived and demanded by the consumer is increasingly focused on the ingredients.
Besides, actions such as undertaking Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) projects or applying circular economy and supply chain traceability are key in this holistic approach to sustainability. Minimizing production waste is at the heart of these initiatives, too.
By integrating these and other initiatives, zero-waste products are quickly becoming the future of beauty.
What can be done: Provital, production waste and beyond
At Provital, we’re committed to minimizing production waste through our own Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (CSR+S) principles. This proves our enduring dedication to make environmental, social and productive improvements, in order to become a sustainable partner and supplier.
In order to do so, there are a number of international agreements that guide our actions and commitments:
– UN World Agreement (Sustainable Development)
– ABS Regulation and Nagoya protocol
– Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
– International Labour Organization (ILO)
– ISO 26000: Guide on Social Responsibility
Besides, different innovations around processes also lie at the heart of our commitment to reducing production waste, as we confront the different sustainability risks that may arise on our supply chain. There are a number of actions we undertake in order to do so:
– KM 0 suppliers: we’ve worked to guarantee a local and national provision of ingredients, which translates into a reduced carbon footprint, less fuel consumption and less environmental impact.
– We assure environmental and biodiversity respect through natural and organic certifications, while also promoting transparency. This also involves controlling every part of our supply chain. For instance, our natural ingredients are certified as 100% natural according to ISO16128, and our company has received the UEBT Certificate, recognizing our commitment with sustainable development and ethics.
– Circular beauty: taking care of production waste, we apply circular economy concepts to our processes, rebuilding this idea into a “circular beauty” approach to work towards a zero-waste cosmetics industry.
Noticing how one third of produced food goes to waste, we’ve looked into putting those resources to use in order to make our cosmetics. We thus transform waste into new, improved products, applying “super-recycling” processes. For instance, we get rice from discarded grains, apples from the juice industry’s waste and buchu from the essential oils’ waste.
Apart from our work with suppliers, 70% of our manufacturing waste is treated following circular economy practices. At the same time, some of Provital’s production waste also receives a specific aerobic biological treatment (composting), giving a second life to some of our vegetable waste resulting from the production of our actives. Thus, the plant used to manufacture the active, once extracted, becomes part of the waste mix that Provital uses to produce compost, used for agricultural purposes.
– During production, there are also a number of actions we undertake to minimize production waste and the depletion of resources. For instance, we measure water consumption and waste, an action that has managed to reduce our water use for 5 years in a row by 40% in 2019.
By undertaking these transformations, we’ve targeted sustainability as a concept that traverses a company as a whole. This way, BPC brands can generate environmentally-friendly processes that go beyond reacting to new consumer demands: they generate a proactive ethical company.