Advancing Sustainable Beauty: An In-Depth Life Cycle Assessment of Cosmetic Packaging

Main Presenter:    Pablo A Rosa 

Co-Authors:   Loreto C. Adrison     Debora Fidelis      Sobanski Natacha      Leandro C. Gonçalves                              

The alignment of development priorities among countries at all income levels has been widely documented in recent years, particularly concerning the transition to digital and sustainable economies. Despite recent advancements, the United Nations (UN) emphasizes the urgency to accelerate contributions to essentially all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to make them a global reality. In its 2023 report, the UN highlights that the progress of the goals is concerning, with 37% stagnating or regressing, 48% experiencing severe or moderate delays, and only 15% progressing well. In the industrial context, which can be correlated with the global, before implementing strategies and quantitatively defining indicators, it is necessary to identify which SDGs are impacted, how they are impacted, and ultimately quantify their impact. In this regard, the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) approach emerges as a crucial tool, presenting methods and indicators to quantify and assess the
sustainability of products and services. It integrates not only environmental elements but also incorporates economic and social aspects. In this scenario, the cosmetics industry seeks sustainable solutions to mitigate the environmental impact of its packaging, which has a relatively short lifespan. However, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies are highly dependent on data availability and also pose temporal and regional challenges. Therefore, this project proposes a methodology that optimizes the inventory phase for the life cycle assessment of packaging. It involves a detailed analysis of the composition of packaging and its potential impacts, integrated through an automated model, accelerating the analytical process in a virtual environment (Google Cloud Platform) and incorporating the Ecoinvent Database to estimate impact categories, such as Global Warming Potential over 20 years (GWP20). This methodology offers significant advantages over traditional methods, with precision in
composition analysis standing out. It allows for a detailed identification of materials used and their potential impacts on our almost 10,000 packaging items in the portfolio. Additionally, other benefits include clear insights for optimization, considering specific opportunities for improvements in materials and their value chain. However, obtaining accurate data on packaging composition can be a challenge, requiring close cooperation with manufacturers. Overcoming these obstacles necessitates effective collaboration between industry stakeholders, regulators, and researchers to ensure reliable data acquisition and continuous methodology improvement.

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