Sustainability Certification for Cosmetics

Sustainability Certification for Cosmetics

Sustainability is driving the conversation in cosmetics. Consumers are increasingly interested in supporting brands that are cruelty-free, ethical and eco-friendly. Sustainable cosmetics is not a regulated term, but various organisations are taking steps to establish some parameters for defining sustainability.

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program is becoming a globally recognised science-based quality certification for products worldwide including sustainable cosmetics. The Crade to Cradle program has recently received attention for certifying five of L’Oreal’s Garnier products. As of the writing of this article, the Cradle to Cradle Product Program has certified 10 individual cosmetics products.

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard determines eligibility for certification through five quality categories:


  1. Material health
  • Knowing the chemical ingredients of every material in a product, and optimising towards safer materials.
  1. Material reutilisation
  • Designing products made with materials that come from and can safely return to nature or industry.
  1. Renewable energy and carbon management
  • Sourcing renewable electricity and offsetting carbon emissions for the product’s final manufacturing stage.
  1. Water stewardship
  • Managing clean water as a precious resource and essential human right by addressing local geographic and industry water impacts at each manufacturing facility.


  1. Social fairness
  • Design operations to honour all people and natural systems affected by the creation, use, disposal or reuse of a product, making a positive difference in the lives of employees and the local community.


To determine if your product is appropriate for certification, work with your supply chain to collect data and ask:

  1. Is your product within the scope of certification?
  2. Does your product comply with the Cradle to Cradle Banned Chemicals Lists?
  3. Is there a commitment to continuous improvement and product optimisation?
  4. Does your product meet eligibility requirements in the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard?

Image courtesy of The Green Chemist.

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