One of the actions that companies in the cosmetics and personal care industry can take, beyond their own efforts to reduce the environmental impact of products and processes, is to advise consumers how best to use and then dispose of products, including reuse and recycling. To this end, Pink Frogs has developed a special type of environmental label to help consumers make sustainable choices.
Helping consumers compare
Pink Frogs’ idea was to create a label that would make it easier for consumers to identify the actual environmental impact of their actions, based on different choices they can make. The label essentially tells consumers: these are the paths you can take; the future is in your hands.
Impact across the life cycle
Pink Frogs first created a Label for Responsible Use for its leave-on skincare products, based on an analysis of a range of environmental impacts through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The LCA was conducted based on the application of a standard quantity of product, and evaluated through three KPIs: the amount of greenhouse gas emitted in the full sequence of events from production through to application; the total amount of water consumed during the entire product life cycle; and “ecosystem balance” meaning the level of aquatic ecosystem alteration, calculated by the amount of water required to dilute the substances released.
Based on the LCA, Pink Frogs assessed various scenarios regarding the products’ use, depending on consumer’s choices. The resulting label compares the impact between a responsible use scenario and a scenario in which the consumer opts not to follow use and disposal recommendations. The impact of these choices is expressed in quantitative terms: for example, using 4% less water or creating 113% more CO2 emissions.
Everyone does their part
By expressing the impact of various consumer choices in concrete terms, Pink Frogs’ label aims to trigger consumer awareness concerning the considerable environmental benefits that can be achieved through the responsible use and disposal of their products. This empowers consumers to be an active part of the life cycle of the product by showing both in quantitative and qualitative terms how they can make a difference.
Pink Frogs’ responsible use labelling project was the winner of The Wall prize honouring ground-breaking projects at cosmetics trade show Cosmoprof in 2015.