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The Future of Beauty

By Jeff Falk and Leslie Benson
Posted: October 14, 2008

page 7 of 8

“In 2002, Cognis launched a wide ranging program under the general heading 25 by 2012,” says Ulrich Issberner, senior marketing manager, personal care, care chemicals North America, Cognis Corporation. “Wishing to make a meaningful contribution to reducing environmental impact, Cognis’ aim in instituting this project is to achieve a 25% reduction in all the major indicators—that is to say specific energy consumption, emissions and wastewater, among others—by the year 2012. Being successful as an enterprise, of course, is the top-most priority of Cognis and its management and staff. All our business and corporate activities are, however, based on the principles of sustainable development—achieving a sensible balance between economic, ecological and social needs without, in any way, compromising the development opportunities of future generations,” says Issberner.

Enriching People’s Lives

Cognis subjects its sites to regular audits, monitoring standards of safety, health and environmental protection. These eco-inventories allow the provision of environmentally relevant facts and figures to its customers—again providing those customers with more for their sustainable back story for consumers who now look for and expect this story line.

“Generally, consumers’ needs and expectations have changed considerably over the last few years,” says Denise Petersen, marketing manager skin care, care chemicals North America, Cognis Corporation. “Whereas in the past, going ‘green’ meant making sacrifices; today, it is seen as something that actually enriches peoples’ lives. The ‘green’ market, for example personal care and cosmetic products based on natural ingredients, is no longer a niche, but very much part of the mainstream.”

Natural and organic are important components of many sustainable efforts, particularly for ingredient and specialty chemical suppliers, and perhaps that’s why they can also be the catalyst and impetus for more encompassing efforts.

“The ‘twinkle’ [for sustainable development] was green ecologists who saw a future in organic growing techniques for agriculture,” says Alban Muller, president, Alban Muller International. “They were trying to change the way people would live in a renewed society: natural products and no chemicals, bicycles and no cars, etc. In other words, back to nature and to a simpler way of life. It might not have been ‘sustainable’ in today’s terms, but it was a philosophy against ‘super consumption’ way of life, and it had its supporters.