Hamburg - Beiersdorf is driving its climate action forward intensively and has reached a new milestone within the implementation of its CARE BEYOND SKIN Sustainability Agenda: The NIVEA Naturally Good face care range is to bring the first climate-neutralized products of the Hamburg-based skin care company to market in about 30 countries - with more products to follow. With this step and other initiatives, Beiersdorf is working intensively on its transformation towards greater sustainability and a reduced environmental footprint. 'Climate change remains one of the greatest challenges society and our consumers face. Hence, climate action is at the center of our sustainability commitment 'Care Beyond Skin' at Beiersdorf', states Stefan De Loecker, Chief Executive Officer of Beiersdorf AG. 'Sustainability initiatives that are taking place within our company and beyond aim to reduce CO2 emissions - including our brands and products.'
From Climate Protection to Product Sustainability
Whether Eucerin, NIVEA or Hansaplast - Beiersdorf's brands are an integral part of its Sustainability Agenda, and their products make a key contribution to this transformation. For many years now the product portfolio has been continually optimized to improve its environmental impact. By the end of 2019, 55% of Beiersdorf's sales were generated through products with an environmentally optimized footprint. The company's next step now goes further and offsets non-avoidable product-based emissions, thereby strengthening Beiersdorf's climate engagement. Products with significantly reduced CO2 emissions will be climate-neutralized, making them the new benchmark for sustainable products at Beiersdorf. Joining the NIVEA Naturally Good face creams as a 'climate hero', the NIVEA shower gel range in Germany with round about 30 different products, also meets the criteria and will be available in stores as climate-neutralized from June onwards. 'This step is an important milestone for us: It boosts our climate action with new climate protection measures, such as our support for afforestation to offset emissions, and it offers our consumers an increased transparency as to how sustainable our products are. They will be able to identify much easier now our most sustainable product offer in store', states Jean-Francois Pascal, Vice President Corporate Sustainability at Beiersdorf1.
Renewable Plastic as a Lever for Climate Neutrality
With the NIVEA Naturally Good face care products, the company's first climate-neutralized range, Beiersdorf successfully implemented a sustainable packaging innovation that delivered a significant CO2 reduction and thus provided the springboard to qualify for carbon offsetting. The jars and lids of these face creams are made of certified renewable plastic. The exact raw material used for this is tall oil, a by-product of the forestry industry, and is used in a certified mass-balance approach. 'By applying this renewable raw material, we are consistently turning our goals into concrete action. By 2025 we plan to use 50% less fossil-based virgin plastic in our product packaging. With these jars made of renewable plastic, we are a pioneer in our industry', says Michael Becker, Head of Global Packaging Development at Beiersdorf. In addition to the packaging of the NIVEA Naturally Good jars, their formulas are also sustainable: These consist of 99% natural and vegan ingredients and are free of microplastics2. Last but not least: Beiersdorf produces with 100% energy from renewable sources since 2019.
Plastic-free and Other Sustainable Innovations
Another innovation that not only has sustainable packaging but also a sustainable formula is NIVEA WonderBAR, NIVEA's first certified natural cosmetics product range. These solid face-cleansing products come with plastic-free packaging: They are sold in a recycled cardboard box that minimizes the product's environmental footprint. What's more, the solid formula saves precious freshwater in the manufacturing process - a further plus compared to face-cleansing products in liquid form.
Another example is the successful optimization of the NIVEA shower range. Here, all formulas had been reworked in 2019 and have since been microplastic-free. In the next step, the formulas were made biodegradable in 2020. In parallel, the bottles were switched to recycled plastic, which achieved a significant reduction in its CO2 footprint. These measures allowed for the entire shower range to be climate-neutralized - available from June onwards in Germany. This is a significant step on the sustainability journey of Germany's market leader 3
Also Eucerin and Beiersdorf's Health Care brands are working to optimize their products. Eucerin is increasingly dispensing its folding box inserts and will completely discontinue their use for all non-medical products by July 2021. Hansaplast, Elastoplast, and CURITAS have been using new, lighter folding cartons for their product packaging since the beginning of this year and have thus been able to reduce their environmental footprint as well.
Joint Approach to Climate Action
Beiersdorf is not only pursuing the sustainability transformation within its own company, it also aims to drive the paradigm shift right across the industry and beyond. To achieve this, the company engages in strong, long-term partnerships with suppliers and retail partners, NGOs, and research institutions. For instance, Beiersdorf is a signatory of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which aims to promote and accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic. The circular economy plays a critical role in tackling greenhouse gas emissions by changing the way we design, make and use products and food. In addition, through its cooperation with Werner & Mertz and the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering, Beiersdorf co-drafted the industry's first and freely available 'Cosmetic Standards Guideline'. Based on a scientific approach, its objective is to promote the use of recycled material for cosmetic packaging industry wide. In Germany, Beiersdorf has been heavily involved since in the 'Recyclate Forum' since 2019, initiated by dm-drogerie markt and eight other industry and retail partners to strengthen the circular economy and expand the recycling of packaging. Here, Beiersdorf is part of the steering committee and will host the forum, which now has around 50 members, for the second time in November 2021.
More information and image-material for download you can find in our 'Special Features' page Climate Progress.
1 Versus base year 20112
2According to the UNEP definition that describes microplastic particles as solid plastic particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm diameter, which are not biodegradable and not water-soluble
3 Source: Nielsen Market Shares, Value, MAT 02/21
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