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Water Stewardship

There is perhaps no substance more precious than water–it is essential for life and success in nearly every human endeavor. Water is also the lifeblood of our economy; we rely on it for manufacturing, energy production, materials’ transport across the globe and more. Water is necessary for our survival on earth and serves as an ingredient in almost everything we do, from food production to manufacturing to power generation.

While the cosmetics and personal care sector is not a water-intensive industry, water is used in product formulations, in the manufacturing process, and by consumers when they use or remove our products. Water conservation is essential to our world’s future development and many companies, including those in our industry, are learning to do more with less and drive greater efficiency with their use of water resources across all aspects of the product lifecycle.

For many companies, conservation begins with a water use analysis and risk assessment–to understand how water is used across operations as a raw material in formulation, in cleaning and sanitization of equipment and facilities, in cooling towers or sanitation–to develop strategies to reduce water withdrawal from municipal sources and identify opportunities to increase water reuse, capture and storage. Cosmetics and personal care products companies have implemented several strategies to reduce operational water use, including closed-loop cooling systems, rainwater harvesting systems, as well as methods to optimize industrial processes to reduce or eliminate the need to source water from external networks (i.e., operate with “dry” factories).

Additionally, many companies are developing “water-smart” products, which can be concentrated or formulated to use less water, formulated without water (anhydrous), water-efficient, require less water to rinse off, or safely absorbed into the wastewater system when washed or rinsed off.