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How sustainable is Estée Lauder ?

Estée Lauder & sustainability


Estée Lauder
Dont buy Click here for score rapport: 2 out of 26

Sustainability summary

Estée Lauder has achieved the E-label, because only a little information is published about a policy on sustainability. It is hard to see the effort Estée Lauder is making on sustainability. Therefore, more policy and transparency is needed.

Brand owner: Estée Lauder Inc.
Head office: New York, NY, United States
Sector: Cosmetics
Categories : 
Free Tags: Estée Lauder Inc.

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Estée Lauder sustainability score report

Last edited: 14 July 2016 by Marloes
Last reviewed: 14 July 2016 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

1 out of 4
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Brand owner Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) implements several measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as improving energy efficiency in owned operations and investing in clean and renewable energy sources (see link, page 11-12). Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? ELC reduced its climate footprint (Scope 1 & 2) from 96,510 metric tons of CO2e in 2011 to 96,362 metric tons of CO2e in 2015, which represents a reduction of only 0,15% (see link, page 11). Source
3. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? ELC aims to publish new emission targets for 2020 in the coming year (see link, page 12). Source
4. Is at least 25% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? ELC reports on the use of renewable energy, but is neither clear about the total percentage share nor about the sources of supply (see link, page 11). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

0 out of 18
1. Does the brand have a policy to phase out all possible harmful substances? Brand owner Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has disclosed a policy on the phase out of parabens, and non-use of phthalates, but does not inform on a general policy to phase out all possible harmful substances. Source
2. Does the brand refrain from using the high hazard (red coded) chemicals as listed in the Skin Deep database of the Environmental Working Group, and if still used, does the brand give scientific account for the safe use of it? Estée Lauder is listed on the SkinDeep database using an abundance of chemicals coded as ‘red’, and brand owner ELC does not give a clarification on the full spectrum of possible hazardous substances used. Source
3. Does the brand strictly apply the precautionary principle (=banning) for all possible harmful substances such as parabens, also when the scientific evidence for possible harm is limited, unclear or debated? ELC does not specify that it strictly applies the precautionary principle (=banning) for all possible harmful substances. ELC only clearly specifies it is in the process of phasing out the use of parabens. Source
4. Does the brand refrain from using any microplastics for all of its products? ELC communicates that it is currently in the process of removing exfoliating plastic beads in the small number of products that contain them. Source
5. Does the cosmetics brand completely refrain from animal testing including tests in the supply chain? Estée Lauder communicates to refrain from animal testing, except when required by law. Source
6. Does the cosmetics brand refrain from using animal derived ingredients? Neither ELC nor Estée Lauder specify to refrain using animal derived ingredients. Source
7. Does the brand have a policy to replace petroleum-based ingredients with renewable, biodegradable ingredients? Neither ELC nor Estée Lauder specify to replace petroleum-based ingredients with renewable, biodegradable ingredients. Source
8. Has the brand already achieved an overall ratio of 50% renewable, biodegradable ingredients? ELC does not specify which share of its Estée Lauder brand products is certified ‘natural’. Source
9. Are all the cosmetics of the brand free of organic-synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, ethoxylated raw materials, synthetic UV filters, synthetic preservatives, silicones, paraffin and other petroleum derived products? Estée Lauder uses several of petroleum derived ingredients. Source
10. Are all cosmetics free of genetically modified materials, nanomaterials and radiated materials? ELC communicates that a number of products contain nanomaterials. Source
11. Are at least 50% of the brand products certified ‘natural’? Neither ELC nor Estée Lauder specify which share of its Estée Lauder products is certified ‘natural’. Source
12. Does the brand use organic or otherwise environmentally certified renewable ingredients for at least 50% of its total use of ingredients? ELC claims to use RSPO certified palm oil. But, it is not clearly specified what overall share of total use of ingredients this represents for its brand Estée Lauder. Source
13. Are at least 90% of the brand products certified ‘organic’? Neither ELC nor Estée Lauder specify which share of its products is certified ‘organic’. Source
14. Does the brand inform users through all products about environmentally responsible use, such as dosage, water use and packaging disposal? Neither ELC nor Estée Lauder specify whether environmentally responsible use information are provided for its customers through all Estée Lauder brand products. Source
15. Does the brand (company) publish a water footprint and is there a concrete policy to minimize, reduce or compensate this footprint? ELC implements several measures to reduce its water usage. However, it only publishes its annual water footprint for its largest plant in Melville (1,767,382 m3 in FY15) which increased by about 5% compared to FY14 (see link, page 13-14). Source
16. Does the brand (company) publish its annual material use footprint, or alternatively material footprints for each sold product, and does the brand have an effective policy in place to reduce the overall environmental impact of material use? ELC implements several measures to improve its annual material footprint, but does not publish its annual material footprint, or alternatively material footprints for each sold product. Source
17. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? ELC implements several measures to minimize waste. But, aggregate results regarding its annual waste materials footprint are not specified (only for its plant in Melville) (see link, page 14-15). Source
18. Does the brand have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of packaging, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report on these results? ELC implements several measures to minimize the impact of its packaging. But, aggregate results regarding its annual packaging materials footprint are not clearly specified. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

1 out of 4
1. Does the brand (company) purchase tropical ingredients such as palm oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, carnauba wax from sources (e.g. plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce these tropical materials? ELC reports that its palm oil and palm oil derivates supply is RSPO certified. However, for other tropical ingredients social certification is not mentioned. Source
2. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 50% of its tropical ingredients such as palm oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, carnauba wax from sources (e.g. plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the tropical ingredients? See remark for labor conditions policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) purchase mined raw materials such as mica and gold from sources (e.g. mines) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the raw materials, and/or is the brand equally involved in significant initiatives to achieve this? ELC does not mention the topic of social risk or certification for its mined ingredients from low wage countries. Source
4. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 50% of its mined raw materials such as mica and gold from sources (e.g. mines) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the workers who produce the raw materials, and/or is the brand equally involved in significant initiatives to achieve this? See remark for labor conditions policy question 3. Source