The C&T Green Summit, held Apr. 13, 2008, drew in nearly 130 attendees from around the world to learn more about what it means to be green in the personal care industry. Attendees hailed form Australia, Spain, Belgium, Brazil ,Canada, Denmark, the UK, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guinea, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru South Africa, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States.
The speakers Anthony Dweck, Laura Root, Tim Kapsner, Steve Schnittger and James Clark presented an interesting mix of opinions regarding how to approach this subject of green. Johann Wiechers served as the scientific adviser for the event. Industry feedback included:
-I really enjoyed the talk by Steve Schnittger on preservation. It gave a very factual perspective, describing the importance of safety and sharing some cautions of formulating with naturals. His presence on the panel was impressive.
-James Clark’s talk brought an interesting perspective to the panel. His approach noted that it’s all really just chemistry and he advised the audience to consider a material’s life cycle from beginning to end—i.e., how might it impact the environment once it gets there.
-I learned several new potential sources for natural ingredients that could be used in personal care from Tony Dweck’s talk.
During the Q&A session, attendees got into a bit of a debate about green not necessarily equaling safer; this parallels the idea of natural not equaling safe. Overall, the audience and speakers seemed to agree that green is a term that is yet undefined and until there are rules put into place, such as for organic certification, the industry needs to be aware of the fact that consumers are also confused by all these certifications and logos on product packages. They could even be confused enough so as to dismiss any logos on the label, making all the efforts happening behind the scenes futile. There was also a lot of talk leaning away from the term green except in the instance of green chemistry and more towards terms like bio-derived or sustainable/renewable.
Green Summit PowerPoint presentations are available at www.CosmeticsandToiletries.com/greensummit. Cosmetics & Toiletries will once again visit the heavily debated topic of REACH at its REACH Summit: Revisited, held on Nov. 12, 2008, in New Brunswick, N.J., USA. For more information on the C&T REACH Summit: Revisited, visit www.CosmeticsandToiletries.com/reachsummit.