Sustainability Matters

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CTPA Sustainability Strategy


Driving Towards a Net Positive Cosmetics Industry


Representing the UK cosmetics and personal care industry, as a trade association CTPA is in a unique position to effect change at a pre-competitive level. Building on the great work members are doing individually on sustainability, the Association is bringing members together to share best practice and drive system-wide change to represent a balanced, conscientious, world-leading industry.

Select a topic from the drop-down menu above to learn about CTPA's specific approaches to sustainability.

CTPA is working with sustainable development non-profit, Forum for the Future to implement our ambitious Sustainability Strategy, 'Driving Towards a Net Positive Cosmetics Industry'. Net Positive is considered as a new way of operating which puts more back into society by delivering benefits that extend far beyond traditional organisational boundaries, contributing more to the environment and the global economy than it takes out.

This section highlights the key strategies from the cosmetics industry and will include case studies of the best practice that the industry has to offer. CTPA is currently gathering information from members about their existing sustainability initiatives so that the strategy is regularly updated to reflect the latest in sustainable innovation and the progress we are making.

"Forum is excited to be working with the CTPA. By acting as a catalyst for systemic change at a pre-competitive level, in areas where CTPA can uniquely make a difference, spotting emerging issues and enabling its members to respond positively to the challenges of sustainable development, the goal is to ensure the cosmetics industry is a force for good in a sustainable world."

Dr Sally Uren, OBE

Chief Executive, Forum for the Future

CTPA Impact Goals

Three areas have been identified where CTPA members can effectively create sustainable initiatives that are relevant to their work in the cosmetics industry. Working with Forum for the Future, and Teneo, CTPA's communication specialists, over the next five years CTPA will be working around the three following areas to build towards a Net Positive cosmetics industry here in the UK:



"Tackling sustainability and not just reducing environmental harm but seeking to be 'net positive' in the long term is a significant mission for the industry. Working with an expert and independent non-profit like Forum for the Future is vital so that the industry can learn from experts in the broader field of sustainability, hear what others are doing and be challenged on our own performance. The goal of net positive contribution and the agreement of a sustainability strategy for CTPA is a start to this vital work."

Graham McMillan

Principal, Teneo

What is Sustainability?


The Brundtland Comission paper 'Our Common Future' defines sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

To help explain what is meant by sustainability, the CTPA has a section on its consumer website called 'Caring for Future Generations'. The philosophy of the website is to provide information about the science behind cosmetic products, the way safety is assured and topical issues in plain English in a simple, straightforward manner.

The cosmetics industry recognises that aspects of sustainability such as energy, water, waste and human rights are integral to long-term success.

The Sustainable Development Goals Explained


In 2000 the UN launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 189 countries of the world were brought together to consider the big challenges affecting the future of society and the environment. This led to the creation of a series of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are a framework of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 working towards a target date of 2030.

These targets highlight not only the environmental challenges the world faces today but the effect on communities and people all over the world of an unsustainable approach. Each of the 17 Goals has a set of indicators that gives companies and governments the ability to push for the goals with reasonable and achievable targets.

*courtesy of SDG


Individual CTPA members are working with initiatives that tackle all of the 17 goals, but we realise there is still some progress to be made in driving towards a net positive cosmetics industry. Members have also made some inspiring sustainability innovations and we are showcasing industry best practice to help inspire and motivate companies through a series of case studies as the strategy develops. With the help of sustainability experts from CTPA, our members, Forum for the Future and Teneo, our strategy will help the industry incorporate sustainability from grassroots up.


Guidelines for the Sustainable Development Goals