A New Year But Not Business as Usual

By Lezlee Westine
President & CEO, PCPC

After more than two years of shifting much of our work and personal lives to virtual platforms, this past year saw a welcome return to in-person gatherings and events. While 2022 was not without its challenges, PCPC and our member companies remained steadfast in our commitment to the well-being of our employees, our consumers and our communities.

I am incredibly proud of everything we accomplished together. One of the last bills passed by the 117th Congress and signed into law by President Biden included long-awaited legislation that advances product safety and innovation for our science-driven industry and reinforces consumer confidence. This historic moment took more than a decade to come to fruition, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders to support a contemporary approach to cosmetics oversight and further strengthen consumer trust in the products they use every day. This landmark legislation would not have been possible without our members’ leadership and commitment and our partnership with key NGOs. We look forward to working closely with Congress, the FDA, our members and all interested parties to implement the new regulations every step of the way.

We also advocated modernizing laws and harmonizing initiatives at the state and global levels. For example, climate action is a top priority for our sector, and beauty and personal care products companies strive to be among the most exemplary in the sustainability of their businesses. We believe protecting people and the planet is an urgent responsibility, and sound science is the foundation for everything we do. However, we have more work to do. PCPC members continue to reduce their energy consumption, transitioning toward lower carbon or renewable sources of energy, and ambitiously cutting their GHG emissions while implementing mitigation, adaptation and resilience strategies. PCPC’s second sustainability report showcases our industry’s commitment to the responsible management of environmental impacts, as well as economic and social value, and highlights the innovative ways member companies have integrated sustainability into their business practices. 

We believe a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace fosters more innovative and creative teams, less biased decision-making and produces better ideas for solving problems. As part of our own sustainability commitment, PCPC presented the second annual Madam C.J. Walker Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), which recognizes individuals in the beauty industry who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to DEI through strong leadership and sustained efforts with a focus on workplace culture, programs and policies, or through external engagement with consumers and communities. PCPC presented the award to Esi Eggleston Bracey, president of Unilever U.S. & CEO of Unilever Personal Care North America. 

I am incredibly humbled when I reflect on the countless ways our industry continues to deepen and broaden collaborative efforts to benefit society, including standing united with the international community to support the Ukrainian people. Many PCPC member companies fund relief efforts in Ukraine by donating to NGOs on the ground, supporting U.S.-based and international organizations focused on helping refugees displaced by the violence, and donating essential care and hygiene supplies.  

Business as usual has changed for the world, and collaboration is key to success. We are proud of the numerous ways our member companies are making a difference.

As we embrace the new year, we look forward to continued momentum and progress in creating a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and sustainable future. Together, we have much to be proud of and strive for. Happy New Year!