Sustainability is Beautiful


By Lezlee Westine
President & CEO, Personal Care Products Council (PCPC)

The world has changed dramatically since we published our first sustainability report in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged all of us in unprecedented ways, and the events surrounding the tragic death of George Floyd in May 2020 and the subsequent protests have made diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) an even greater societal priority.

PCPC’s 2021 “Creating a More Beautiful World” sustainability report showcases the beauty and personal care industry’s continued commitment to the responsible management of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) impacts and highlights the innovative ways our member companies integrate sustainability into their business practices. 

Recognizing a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace fosters more innovation and creativity, less biased decision-making, and produces better ideas for solving problems, PCPC and many of our member companies initiated a variety of programs and approaches to improve employee recruitment and retention, and to address issues of racial disparities in leadership and pay. Currently, more than 75% of PCPC members have DEI policies and programs in place. Additionally, they work to develop products and services with more formula and shade diversity, as well as disability-inclusive packaging, to meet different needs.

I am incredibly proud of PCPC’s continued advocacy on behalf of our industry for the passage of the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, legislation that aims to end race-based hair discrimination. PCPC also announced the first annual Madam C.J. Walker Award for Excellence in DEI in May 2021, recognizing individuals 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. Latriece Watkins of Walmart was our first recipient. Our second award presentation during PCPC’s Leadership Summit this past September brought industry together to celebrate Unilever’s Esi Eggleston Bracey.

These past few years have also called to light the pressing, complex and critical challenges facing our natural systems and the urgent need for us to take significant measures to protect our planet. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) state of global climate science publication issued a red alert for the planet. Climate action is a top priority for our member companies, and our sector has undertaken ambitious initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and transition toward a low carbon economy. Many PCPC member companies have also committed to zero waste in operations, including Beiersdorf, Burt’s Bees, Coty, Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel, Firmenich, International Flavors and Fragrance, L’Oréal, Procter and Gamble (P&G), Mary Kay, The Estée Lauder Companies and Unilever.

Several PCPC members are committed to the Global Commitment and Plastic Pact to make 100% of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, including Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel, Kimberly-Clark, L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, Natura, Reckitt Benckiser, The Clorox Company and Unilever. And many PCPC member companies and their brands offer consumers retail collection or mail-in take-back programs for empty packaging, including Aveda, Burt’s Bees, Colgate Oral Care, Dial, Head and Shoulders, Herbal Essence, Henkel, Garnier, Kiehl’s Since 1851, MAC Cosmetics, Origins, Pantene, Seed Phytonutrients and Tom’s of Maine.

PCPC members also support a wide range of corporate social responsibility programs to help make their communities better places to live, including flagship initiatives like PCPC’s Look Good Feel Better and many corporate programs: L’Oréal Fund for Nature Regeneration and the For Women in Science program; Dove’s Real Beauty campaign and its more recent project #ShowUs; M·A·C’s VIVA GLAM campaign; Vaseline’s See My Skin; LIFEBUOY’s global handwashing campaign; Schwarzkopf’s Million Chances; Colgate’s Bright Smile, Bright Future; P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water; Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign; Gillette’s #TheBestMenCanBe; Coty’s long-standing partnership with DKMS, an international non-profit fighting blood cancer and blood disorders; Rodan + Fields’ Prescription for Change Foundation; Fondation Chanel’s work on gender, climate and the environment; Mary Kay’s Pink Changing Lives and Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator; and Beiersdorf’s “Care Beyond Skin.”

Our member companies continue to conduct business with transparency, oversight and accountability, implementing policies, practices and processes that govern their actions and decision making. Ethical conduct guides our industry to act with integrity and maintain the highest standards. We are committed to promoting greater transparency and disclosure around products and believe everyone deserves the right to know and understand what’s in their products. Our member companies are also committed to eliminating animal testing while ensuring the safety of the products consumers trust and rely on every day. We have long advocated for government recognition and acceptance of alternative testing methods for product safety.

While we face a long list of social and environmental challenges, PCPC and our member companies believe that working together alongside government and NGOs will enable us to make meaningful change. We remain committed to tangible progress on serious issues like workforce opportunity, racial equity, climate change, and sustainable, responsible supply chains. Together we can make a difference.

Voting is a Beautiful Thing


Lezlee Westine
President & CEO, Personal Care Products Council

More and more people are voting. Nearly 155 million people voted in the 2020 presidential election – significantly more than the 137.5 million who voted in 2016. Coincidently, 2020 was the year the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and our member companies launched the Beauty Counts…Time to Vote industry pledge, an effort to encourage civic engagement and a safe environment for employees to vote. Clearly, voting behaviors are changing.

Meanwhile, other changes are unfolding. According to the U.S. Census, approximately 60% of voters voted in person in 2016. The Covid-19 pandemic changed people’s behavior. In the 2020 election, 69% of voters voted early or cast their ballot by mail. How will voters choose to participate in the November 2022 midterm elections? Will they return to in-person voting or continue to rely on mail-in ballots?

However individuals choose to exercise their right to vote, leaders in the beauty and personal care products industry are pledging their support again this year. Building on the effort launched in 2020, 20 companies have signed the Beauty Counts…Time to Vote pledge to date this year, providing employees flexibility and/or meaningful time off to vote in the upcoming midterm election. Employees can also use the time to volunteer at the polls or engage in other appropriate activities that strengthen a culture of civic engagement.

As we said when we launched this effort, physically getting to the polls can be difficult, and no one should have to choose between earning a paycheck and casting a ballot. Everyone who has the right to vote should also have the opportunity. And that’s what the Beauty Counts pledge is all about.

Beauty and personal care companies thrive when employees are engaged citizens who actively participate in their communities. I know that we are but one piece of an extensive and vibrant network of organizations and individuals working to promote voter engagement.

Now in our third year of the Beauty Counts pledge, I remain so proud of the beauty and personal care industry for coming together to encourage employees to engage in civic-minded activities. And I urge everyone – within our industry and beyond – to never take for granted the right to vote.

Whether you vote early, by mail-in ballot or in person on November 8, remember that every vote counts and you are making a beautiful difference.

Sunscreens, Waterways and Science – What We Know


By Iain Davies, Ph.D.
Director of Environmental Science Programs, PCPC

While sunscreens may not be top of mind as the weather turns cooler, sunscreens are a critical tool in a daily regimen, year-round. Last month, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released an important report about the environmental impact of currently marketed sunscreens and the potential human impacts of changes in sunscreen usage. The report noted sunscreens’ public health benefits and provided much-needed perspective on the current state of scientific knowledge related to sunscreens, specifically ultraviolet (UV) filters.

UV filters are essential ingredients used in sunscreens to absorb, scatter or reflect the UV radiation, protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure. By filtering out harmful UV rays, sunscreens help to reduce the risk of skin cancer, sunburn and premature skin aging.

Many people use sunscreens when they are enjoying time outdoors, including in rivers, lakes or oceans. The NAS report sought to address the potential impact on aquatic life if UV filters are present in water systems, as well as the efficacy of sunscreens in preventing UV damage to human skin and the potential health impacts. Sunscreen ingredients also rinse off when people are bathing or showering, entering the wastewater system and potentially being discharged into bodies of water.

The report summarizes the findings of a multidisciplinary expert panel that reviewed the available science. In short, the study found that there is currently insufficient relevant and reliable scientific data to conduct a realistic environmental risk assessment. Additionally, there is not enough scientific data to support UV filter bans that some U.S. states and other parts of the world have implemented.

Importantly, the report put forward three broad recommendations to address the information gaps:  

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should conduct an ecological risk assessment (ERA) for all currently marketed UV filters and any new ones that become available.
  • Government agencies, together with sunscreen formulators and UV filter manufacturers, should conduct and disseminate comprehensive research on multiple aspects of UV filters and their impact on aquatic environment.
  • Epidemiological risk modeling and behavioral studies related to sunscreen usage should be conducted to better understand human health outcomes from changing availability and usage.

While the report confirmed what PCPC’s scientists have long concluded – insufficient environmental safety data have been used to justify sunscreen bans or changes in consumer behavior – NAS further acknowledges that changes in consumer sunscreen use could lead to significant adverse public health impacts of increased UV-induced skin cancers. Medical experts and regulatory authorities worldwide agree that sunscreens play a critical role in a safe-sun regimen and nothing in the report changes that recommendation.

PCPC and our member companies welcome the opportunity to work with federal agencies and other interested stakeholders to fill in some of the scientific information gaps as they relate to UV filters’ impact to aquatic environments. We are committed to conducting the innovative and cutting-edge environmental research needed to not only assess potential environmental risks but to also address consumer questions and maintain consumer trust in products that help protect their skin every day.

For more information on sunscreens and other beauty and personal care products, visit www.cosmeticsinfo.org.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – What’s the Future?


By Lisa Powers
EVP, Public Affairs & Communications

Extended Producer Responsibility, or EPR, is an innovative policy approach emerging in several U.S. states to address growing concerns about waste produced by our economy. It assigns producers the responsibility for fiscal, physical and/or end-of-life management of their products and packaging once they are no longer in use. 

Last month, I moderated a webinar in PCPC’s sustainability series with a focus on EPR programs, today and in the future, with guest speakers Resa Dimino, managing partner at Signalfire Group, and Lucy Pierce, project manager at the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC). Numerous PCPC companies are members of SPC.

As Dimino noted during the webinar, companies from a number of industries are engaged with state policymakers to develop effective EPR programs, focusing on:

  • Increased waste diversion and recovery,
  • Reduced government cost,
  • Incorporated cost of recycling and end-of-life management in the product’s cost and
  • Improved design of products to reduce environmental impact

In 2021, Oregon and Maine were the first states to pass EPR bills specific to packaging. In 2022, 15 states have already introduced EPR packaging legislation and more are likely. Typically, state legislation sets requirements for brand and retailer responsibility for residential recycling programs, creates performance standards (e.g., recycling rates, service standards, etc.) and establishes oversight of the programs.

But even without this legislation, EPR principles are widely used for products across various industries, including beverage containers, electronics, rechargeable batteries, paint and many other consumer products. EPR is emerging as a key consideration in the design and development for packaging of cosmetics and personal care products, even when not legislatively mandated.

Regardless of the industry, one of the most critical parts of an EPR program is the producer responsibility organization (PRO), which serves as the administrator of the legislation once implemented. The PRO manages obligations set forth in the legislation and develops and implements the program plan, which serves as the blueprint for meeting goals and obligations. In addition, the PRO sets and collects fees.

According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition: “Many new bills and positions extend cost coverage to include outreach and education, infrastructure improvements, and end-market development for recycled materials. Organizations and policymakers are increasingly pointing to effective EPR as a necessary component of a comprehensive approach to addressing recycling challenges and concern over single-use product pollution.”   

In June 2021, PCPC members were among the more than 100 companies to sign on to a statement from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation committed to ensuring their company and its actions align with the principles of a circular economy while also “advocating for the establishment of well-designed EPR policies and being supportive in working out how to implement and continuously improve EPR schemes in the local context.”

PCPC supports state EPR programs that embrace the following principles:

  • Shared Responsibility – costs and reduction targets should be shared between producers,
    municipalities and other value chain actors
  • Prioritize Infrastructure – producer funding should be directed towards infrastructure that
    will increase packaging recovery and circular use
  • Transparency and Accountability – adequate reporting, monitoring and
    independent auditing systems should ensure producer compliance, state
    accountability of administrative costs and the overall financial health of the program
  • Producer Access to Materials – producers should have fair and privileged access to the purchase of recycled materials in support of closed-loop recycling

PCPC recognizes the need for all actors along the packaging value chain to help identify options to contribute to the success of state initiatives to enhance recycling and support the circular economy. All stakeholders, including the personal care products industry, play an essential role in the future development and growth of EPR programs. We are all in this together.

National Don’t Fry Day: Enjoy Summer Safely


By Alex Kowcz
Chief Scientist

With summer vacation and warm weather upon us, we’re all eager for fun in the sun. National Don’t Fry Day serves as a reminder of the potential harm of overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The dangers of UV rays – including premature skin aging and skin cancer – are clear and universally recognized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), Skin Cancer Foundation and health care professionals worldwide emphasize the important role of sunscreen use in the fight against skin cancer and premature skin aging.

On National Don’t Fry Day, and every day, we encourage everyone to protect their skin from the dangers of UV exposure. An easy way to gauge your UV exposure is by your shadow. UV exposure is likely to be lower when your shadow is taller than you are (i.e., in the early morning and late afternoon). If, on the other hand, your shadow is shorter than you (usually around midday), you are being exposed to higher levels of UV radiation and should seek shade, and protect your skin and eyes.

DontFryDay

Skin cancer is a significant, yet largely preventable, public health concern. According to the American Cancer Society, more than five million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year – more than all other types of cancer combined. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and 20 Americans die from melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – every day, according to AAD. PCPC and our member companies share a common goal to help consumers make informed decisions about using sunscreen as part of an overall safe-sun regimen. Our industry is proud to offer innovative sunscreen products that help protect individuals and families from the harmful effects of the sun.

Having an array of safe and effective sunscreen active ingredients allows manufacturers to continue to develop products that meet the differing needs of individuals and their families. Ensuring consumers have access to these products is critical in the fight against skin cancer and premature aging, as well as an important contribution to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) public health mission.

Remember, ‘Don’t Fry’ while enjoying your summer! We hope using sunscreens becomes as much of a habit as using your seat belt.

Earth Day 2022: A Sustainable and Biodiverse Future for Coral Reefs


By Emily Burns, Ph.D.
Environmental Scientist

Earth Day is a reminder of just how important coral reefs are in sustaining a wide array of plant, fish and invertebrate species, as well as supporting the livelihood of more than half a billion people through a variety of means, such as fisheries and ecotourism. Tropical coral reefs are the most ecologically diverse ecosystems in the marine environment. Despite only covering approximately 1% of the oceans, these habitats are critical to sustaining about 25% of all marine species. Coral reefs also protect adjacent shorelines from storms and host dozens of species that are key sources of medicines to treat a variety of diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

EarthDay2022

More than 75% of coral reefs are considered to be under serious threat. The most prevalent cause of coral bleaching – which leads to coral weakening and death – is a significant and persistent rise in water temperatures, which can be attributed to the climate crisis. The climate crisis is also increasing ocean acidification, which further threatens reef survival by reducing the growth of corals and other animals.

There are also a number of local threats to coral reefs, including overfishing, invasive species, pollution from untreated sewage, agricultural runoff, unsustainable coastal development and physical damage from tourists’ feet or boat anchors. Proper management of such threats can have a significant positive impact on coral health, potentially increasing resiliency to the broader global threat of climate change.

Coral reef decline is a serious environmental, economic and societal issue that beauty and personal care products member companies take very seriously. While the use of specific sunscreen active ingredients has also been implicated as a local threat to corals, available scientific evidence indicates these ingredients are unlikely to be a threat. As a result of our industry’s extensive investigation, projects and partnerships have been established to lead the way in developing more robust science needed to understand the relationship between sunscreens and coral health. While we don’t have all of the answers, more research into the impacts of sunscreen active ingredients on coral is needed to allow the scientific community to form a consensus based on reliable studies.

We believe protecting the planet is a responsibility, not a choice. PCPC and our member companies are dedicated to improving the well-being of people and the planet, united in our commitment to operate responsibly and to ensure all cosmetic and personal care product ingredients are sustainable and do not adversely impact the environment. 

This Earth Day, I encourage you to explore EarthDay.org’s Conservation and Biodiversity Campaign for ideas and steps you can take to help protect our coral reefs.

Honoring Our Past, Building Our Future


By Lisa Powers
EVP, Public Affairs & Communications

International Women’s Day celebrates women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements, giving us a look into how far women have come and acknowledging how much more needs to be done. Last week, after a six-year-long legal battle for equal pay, the World Cup and Olympic Gold Medal-winning U.S. women’s soccer team settled with the U.S. Soccer Federation. In a joint statement, U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) said: “Today we recognize the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped to make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow. Today, we dedicate this moment to them.” This is a historic moment for female athletes as they continue to advocate for gender equity in sports.

I am fortunate to work for a dynamic industry with a history of strong women leaders and role models, from Madam C.J. Walker and Helena Rubinstein to Elizabeth Arden and Estée Lauder to the new generation of female founders emerging today. No industry has as many female success stories as the beauty and personal care industry. Women make up 77% of our industry’s workforce and hold more than half of management positions – significantly more than other industries. Women of color are leading voices and represent more management positions than the national average.

Our industry believes in supporting other women. We created the Look Good Feel Better Foundation to support women undergoing cancer treatment, helping more than 2 million women, and counting, reclaim a sense of control, confidence and self-esteem at a time when they feel most vulnerable. Many of our member companies have programs supporting women’s empowerment and leadership; promoting STEM education and careers for women; addressing domestic violence; supporting breast cancer awareness, detection and treatment; promoting self-esteem; and fighting racial bias. Our industry’s commitment to women and the world around them is strong. And we’re just getting started.

IWD2022

We know we’re not perfect, but our industry is wholeheartedly committed to creating a more inclusive and beautiful world. Our industry agrees that, in order to do so, we must challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. When women stick together and support each other, we can accomplish great things. By learning from our predecessors and supporting our successors, equality can become reality.

Just look at the women’s soccer team.

Black History Month: Working Toward a More Inclusive and Beautiful World


By Helene Pamon
Head of Personal Care, Sanofi &
Chair of PCPC’s DEI Advisory Group

Civil Rights activist Rev. Pauli Murray said, “True community is based on equality, mutuality and reciprocity. It affirms the richness of individual diversity as well as the common human ties that bind us together.” Rev. Murray is right; we must not just celebrate individual diversity but include everyone in every aspect of our society. This February is a good time to reflect on the beauty and personal care products industry’s work to make our companies and communities rise to this aspiration.

Certainly, the events over the last two years have sparked a much-needed examination of our role and responsibility in addressing society’s challenges around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and its member companies are keenly aware that consumers expect us to create, influence, educate and advocate for change. That begins with taking steps to ensure our own proverbial house is in order. Companies are working together to strengthen inclusiveness at the company and brand levels.                

PCPC also took a critical look at its approach to DEI and how the association might support member practice and programs. I am proud to have worked with PCPC over the last year to bring together a Board-appointed Advisory Group (AG) of member company representatives who play a critical role addressing DEI and advancing best practices in their respective organizations. The AG’s mission is to harness the collective impact of the beauty and personal care products industry to be an agent for change toward a more just and equitable society. We are laser focused on what we can achieve as the collective, how we measure success and if needed, to course correct along our journey.  

PCPC member companies also engage with stakeholders to advocate for constructive DEI policies at the federal, state and local levels. For example, we’ve worked with the CROWN Coalition to advance anti-discrimination legislation known as the CROWN Act, which prevents discrimination based on characteristics – such as hair texture and cultural styles, particularly those common in the Black community – and specifically recognizes that Black people are disparately impacted and excluded from some workplaces based on physical appearance.

Last year, PCPC also announced the first annual Madam C.J. Walker Award for Excellence in DEI. The award recognizes an individual in the beauty industry who demonstrates 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. Latriece Watkins, executive vice president, Consumables, Walmart U.S. received this award named after one of our industry’s icons.

Beauty and personal care companies understand that we all play a critical role in shaping the future, and we are making progress. However, we know there’s so much more to do and we are wholeheartedly committed to doing our part to encourage a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and beautiful future. When everyone is included, everyone wins.

Designing a Circular Future with Optimism


by Michelle Lee
Managing Director, IDEO

Over the last century, we’ve designed a culture of convenience: We process raw materials, use them for a finite amount of time and then dispose of them without much thought as to the waste we are creating. But now, there’s a growing consciousness around the impact this is having on our world, and we find ourselves amidst a pressing shift in both mindset and practice.

In my role at IDEO, a human-centered design firm known for work ranging from the first Apple mouse to a more equitable voting system in Los Angeles, I see this as an incredible opportunity for design and innovation – a chance to rethink and improve processes that have been in place for decades. As we spread this playful mindset across a breadth of industries, I am inspired by the steps I see organizations taking to actively contribute to a circular economy.

How the move toward a circular economy is taking shape

Our current economy is linear – materials are extracted from the earth, put into production, used and then discarded. Some are recycled, but the vast majority end up in landfills. The result is the accumulation of massive amounts of waste, which, at some point, Earth simply won’t be able to handle. A circular economy, on the other hand, bends this line to create a continuous circle with no end. Materials return to circulation after use so they never end up in landfills.

There are three primary ways manufacturers are approaching this challenge:

  • package elimination,
  • package reuse and/or
  • material circulation.

These circular design principles – eliminate, reuse, and circulate – can be applied at every stage of the value chain by asking thoughtful questions and pushing for innovative answers from every member of the team. For example:

  • How might we shift to bio-based or fully recyclable materials?
  • How might we increase resource recovery by designing products for disassembly?
  • How might we extend the life of a product through more durable engineering and design?
  • How might we reduce costs and increase efficiencies by eliminating packaging materials?
  • How might we begin to track product life cycles to inform smarter production?
  • How might we create new systems to return or reuse products and packaging?

We’re seeing creative solutions emerge in response to these questions, including in the beauty and personal care products industry. Rethinking shampoo delivery, Lush traded the traditional liquid form for a solid product: shampoo bars. This shift reduces both production and transportation costs; Lush estimates that since 2007, it has eliminated the need for 90 million plastic shampoo bottles.

Meanwhile, Bite recognized that, as a society, we discard an estimated 1 billion toothpaste tubes every year. With toothpaste bits, they eliminated the tube, shifting to a subscription model of solid bits that can be stored in a refillable glass jar.

These companies, and many others like them, are finding innovative ways to eliminate plastic packaging altogether. In the process, they’re generating incredible consumer engagement and loyalty, not only by aligning with a growing consumer consciousness, but also by tapping into new product forms and rituals that are delightful and engaging.

Every day, new examples arise of innovative companies trailblazing new processes in support of a circular economy. Ready to join us on this exciting and meaningful journey? Start by checking out the Circular Design Guide, a collaboration between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO.

Together, we can transition from a linear to a circular economy and, in doing so, create a better, more equitable and beautiful future for the next generation.

______________________________________________________________________________

Michelle Lee is Managing Director of IDEO’s Play Lab, where she leads an integrated research, design and development team, using play to address complex challenges and create meaningful change across industries.

Case studies from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Upstream Innovation: A guide to packaging solutions.

A New Year, A New Opportunity to Focus on What Matters Most


By Lezlee Westine
President & CEO, PCPC

As we reflect on the second year of the pandemic, I am reminded of the renewed energy and sense of purpose with which we welcomed 2021. While last year was not without its own challenges, I am proud that PCPC and our member companies remained steadfast in our commitment to the wellbeing of our employees, our consumers and our communities.

The pandemic forced us to change the way we do business and live our personal lives, but it also reinforced just how much science matters. Sound science is the foundation for everything that we do. We continued to work with policymakers and advocacy groups to modernize state and federal laws based on sound science and safety. This includes working with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to eliminate new cosmetics animal testing and promote the acceptance of non-animal approaches to cosmetics safety assessments with the reintroduction of the bipartisan Humane Cosmetics Act in the House and Senate. Together with Cruelty Free International (CFI), we also successfully advocated for the adoption of cosmetics animal testing legislation in several states.

We believe protecting people and the planet is an urgent responsibility, not a choice. PCPC’s sustainability program continues to expand with several new initiatives to reflect our commitment to a more inclusive society. PCPC supported federal and state anti-discrimination legislation as a member of the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Coalition and an active advocate for the CROWN Act. The CROWN Act prevents discrimination based on characteristics – such as hair texture and cultural styles, particularly those common in the Black community – and specifically recognizes that Black people are disparately impacted and excluded from some workplaces based on physical appearance. The Act is now law in 14 states and 40 local governments and was introduced in more than 25 others last year.

PCPC also proudly announced the first annual Madam C.J. Walker Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The award 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 inaugural award to Latriece Watkins, executive vice president, Consumables, Walmart U.S., in recognition of her dedication to advancing DEI.

While we recognize that we are not perfect, we are dedicated to working with others to achieve meaningful solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges, helping to shape a more beautiful, inclusive future. Each new year presents new opportunities to examine our priorities and focus on what matters most. Cosmetics and personal care products companies are working to be positive agents for change. This past year was no different.

As we greet 2022, there will undoubtedly be new challenges and uncertainties. But, as an innovative and committed industry, we have much to be proud of and strive for. Happy New Year to all.