Sustainability Endures

Are we tired yet of the word sustainability? I know I am (although I blatantly used it in the headline). Colleagues from the Midwest Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists and I recently debated this as we planned an education session and considered this topic.

My initial reaction was yes, I think we are tired of it, and the industry wants to hear something different. After some disagreement among team members, we realized we were each defining the term differently. To some, it meant eco-friendly ingredients and lasting raw material resources while to others, it meant business survival.

Considering that this topic stirred debate with only a handful of people, we concluded the concept was still of interest—and that with any of our definitions, the underlying philosophies would always be relevant, thereby making sustainability sustainable. However, we also recognized that the term is over-generalized and when used, requires clarification.

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