Keyvan Macedo, Head of Climate Change and Environmental Impact, spoke to Luxe Packaging Insight about Natura’s sustainable packaging strategy as the brand moves towards meeting the stringent objectives set out by parent company Natura & Co.
Natura & Co’s sustainability commitments for 2030 include reducing packaging weight by at least 20%, ensuring that 50% of plastics* be recycled and that 100% of all packaging material be reused, recycled or composted. Where is the Natura brand positioned in relation to this?
In 2018, Natura became a signatory of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy global commitment, an initiative to adopt circular economy principles in the plastics chain. The brand has already guaranteed that 47% of the waste volume generated by our packaging be returned to the production chain via recycling. Around 8.6% of our inputs into production processes come from recycled content and half of the materials used in our packs are recyclable.
Our use of recycled material increased in 2019 as we consolidated the measure adopted the previous year, which established that our perfumery portfolio should use up to 30% recycled glass, and relaunched the Natura Tododia range with 100% PCR PET packs. Natura Ekos body and hair products use 100% PCR PET, and the Sève line and spray deodorants feature 50% PCR PET packaging.
What about secondary packaging?
We use secondary packaging for a portion of our portfolio and are reviewing which products need the protection it provides throughout the supply chain in view of our direct-sales model.
Natura has made reducing packaging a priority, as well as using recycled materials or those of renewable origin. What does this entail?
In 2007 we started using 30% recycled PET in our packaging. In recent years, this percentage has increased, reaching 100% PCR PET in bottles in our Ekos and Tododia lines. We have used sugarcane-based plastic since 2010, and this has shown its potential as an alternative for the products for which we currently use polyethylene (PE) resin. Regarding the cost premium, we have worked with our suppliers to maintain the competitiveness of these materials compared with their conventional counterparts.
The brand pioneered the use of refills 35 years ago. Where do you stand today in this area?
Some 30% of our portfolio is refillable, and we aim to increase this proportion in the coming years. Currently we do not have a refilling system in our retail stores due to sanitary restrictions imposed by Brazilian legislation.
What are some of the most innovative sustainable packaging examples in your portfolio?
We have lines, such as Mamãe & Bebê and Natura Lumina whose packaging is produced with 100% ‘green’ plastic and that also have refill formats. The fragrances in the Ekos line come in bottles made of recycled glass and refills made from 100% PCR PET. Along with eco-designed packaging, we are also developing solutions that do not require packaging, or ‘naked’ products.
In 2019 your Latin American operations engaged in More Beauty, Less Trash, a program to establish public waste recycling targets.
Yes, the commitment is a response to legislation in each country where Natura has direct sales operations. In addition to Brazil, this includes Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico; some of these regions are beginning to feel the negative impact of plastics disposal in the ocean on their fishing and tourism industries.
How are you using outside innovation to develop new sustainable packaging solutions?
Our global Natura Startups program is aimed at establishing partnerships and creating businesses to enable collaboration and accelerate opportunities focused on growth, differentiation and sustainable development. Natura Campus, meanwhile, is a space to share knowledge and develop relations with technology institutions, companies and entrepreneurs with a view to creating a collaborative ecosystem to drive shared innovation and value.
At the end of last year we launched the Natura Innovation Challenge focused on zero-waste packaging solutions. This resulted in more than 570 submissions from 37 countries, which are being analyzed to determine their degree of readiness and connection with the challenges the company faces.