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Developing Sustainable Products

Sustainable Packaging

Climate change and marine plastic waste are pressing environmental issues that need to be addressed on a global scale. It is expected that the Global Plastics Treaty (a resolution of the United Nations Environment Assembly approved by over 175 countries in Nairobi in 2022 which calls for urgent action to end plastic pollution globally by 2040) will be signed by the end of 2024. Shiseido aims to realize a circular economy where all materials are responsibly managed during production through efforts such as recycling to minimize the impact on our ecosystem. It is expected that the interest of consumers and other stakeholders in climate change and other environmental issues will continue to rise. Adapting to changes in societal awareness through product development and other means, is extremely important for the sustainability of our business. Based on the Shiseido 5Rs packaging development policy*1, Shiseido is working to reduce its environmental footprint and contribute to realize a circular economy. To achieve our goal of 100% sustainable packaging*2 by 2025, we are adopting recyclable and reusable designs, using bio-based and post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials, reducing packaging weight and encouraging refills to promote reused packaging. We have also started initiatives designed to reduce the amount of virgin petroleum-based plastic used by adopting non-plastic alternative materials, and we are introducing mono-material packaging to improve recyclability.*3 In addition, we aim to build a Shiseido circular business model that recycles used packaging as new resources in collaboration with consumers and external partners.

  1. *1:Packaging development policy: respect, reduce, reuse, recycle and replace.
  2. *2: For sale of products with plastic packaging.
  3. *3:Amount of plastic packaging used in Japan in 2023 (Including estimates): 9,700t. Sustainable packaging accounted for 63% of all plastic containers sourced in 2023 (weight basis, Japan only)

Shiseido's 5Rs

Products with Packaging

Reduce and Reuse

We understand that the Earth's resources are limited. In line with Shiseido’s 5Rs packaging development policy, we are reducing the amount of plastic we use and reducing our impact on the environment by such as optimizing the size of packaging to suit the product, reducing packaging weight and offering refillable packaging. Compared to 2019, the average weight of a plastic packaging was reduced by 18% in 2023.

Refillable packaging significantly reduces resource use. By encouraging the reuse of main packaging, it is possible to reduce the total amount of plastic used for packaging. Our Life Cycle Assessment confirms that refillable packaging lowers resource use and waste and significantly reduces CO₂ emissions compared to the continuous disposal of regular (primary) packaging. To significantly contribute to the reduction of the environmental impact, we aim to promote the development of these products widely, not only in Japan but also on a global scale.

Since we launched our first refillable product in 1926, we have provided refillable packaging in a wide range of product categories, including skincare and makeup. In 2023, we offered refillable packaging for about 740 stock keeping units (SKUs) within 31 brands globally in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic and ultimately, to reduce the environmental footprint.
This included increasing the amount of refillable packaging in our prestige skincare brand Clé de Peau Beauté and launching refillable packaging for the cream LA CRÈME, which uses 95%*1 less plastic than its regular (primary) packaging. In 2023, the brand launched new refillable packaging for five new products, including SÉRUM RAFFERMISSANT SUPRÊME n. In 2023, sales of refillable packaging from Clé de Peau Beauté increased approximately 23% year on year.

Before launching a refill option for the IPSA loose powder that became available in 2023, we redesigned the main container to improve durability and to make it more suitable for repeated use.

We are also incorporating innovative technologies to reduce environmental impact. In 2023, the brand SHISEIDO, which operates in 88 countries and regions around the globe, became the first company to sell cosmetics in packaging made with LiquiForm® technology.*2 It is a one-step technology for manufacturing bottles and filling them with liquid content. Refillable cosmetics packaging made using LiquiForm® can reduce plastic usage per packaging approximately 70%.*3 Moreover, compared to our conventional refillable packaging (with the same volume), this technology can reduce CO₂ emissions throughout the supply chain —from raw materials procurement and production to use and disposal— around 70%.*3 We will raise awareness of refillable products by launching them not only in Japan but also in other Asian countries and regions, including China. We will also strengthen our activities to achieve toward a circular economy that seek the cooperation of consumers.

In 2024, Ulé, a skincare brand that promotes beauty both inside and outside the body, launched a refillable option made from 100% recyclable materials for cleansing gel Dream of Pure. The refill helps reduce plastic and aluminum usage by 23% and 100% respectively, as opposed to purchasing new packaging. In 2023, the luxury brand Serge Lutens launched a fragrance that strikes a delicate balance between sustainability and luxury. The refill packaging is made from 100% recyclable aluminum in consideration of environmental impact.

  1. *1:Weight ratio of regular (primary) packaging
  2. *2:The new packaging technology was developed chiefly by Amcor. Shiseido worked with Yoshino Kogyosho, a company that has put the technology to use, to jointly develop cosmetic packaging.
  3. *3:Comparison with a refillable packaging of the same volume, not including contents

SHISEIDO, Clé de Peau Beauté and Ulé. Left: main container, Right: refill/ refill container.

Recycle

To realize a circular economy, it is important to select materials and design products with the reuse of resources in mind.
To reduce our consumption of single-use plastic, we are developing packaging made from a material that can be more easily sorted and reused/recycled after use without compromising the quality of the packaging’s design.
In 2023, a number of our brands launched products with packaging that is easier to recycle, including SHISEIDO and Clé de Peau Beauté. In addition, the tube packaging for SIDEKICK — a cosmetics brand launched for young male consumers in 2022 — is made of easily recyclable aluminum.

SIDEKICK

Replace

To mitigate climate change and marine plastic pollution, we are focusing on the research of post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials, plastic alternatives, and bio-based materials with low environmental impact — and promoting their use. For example, packaging of some Clé de Peau Beauté and ELIXIR products is made from recycled plastic.

Over 72% of the PET in the bottles of ELIXIR facial lotion and emulsion is recycled. The facial lotion and emulsion refills help reduce plastic usage by over 85%*1 and CO₂ emissions by 85%.*2

ELIXIR facial lotion and emulsion

We also use some plant-derived bio-based plastic in the outer packaging of our ANESSA suncare brand. BAUM, which celebrates and honors our connection with nature, offers environmentally friendly products. Packaging, for example, use sustainable raw materials such as upcycled wood left over from furniture industry, plant-derived or recycled plastic, and recycled glass. Additionally, many containers are refillable.

BAUM facial lotion

In 2023, the Shiseido Group used approximately 200 tons of recycled plastic and bio-based plastic in total.

Products' secondary packaging that is made from plastic is being replaced with paper alternative. In addition, Point of Sale Materials (POSM) used at retail stores, such as drug stores, and counters that are made from plastic will also be replaced with paper alternatives in due course to further reduce the amount of plastic we use. In 2022, we switched approximately 70%*3 of our plastic POSM in Japan to paper.

  1. *1:Comparison between the existing main container and refill
  2. *2: Comparison of the existing main container and refill in terms of CO₂ emissions per packaging. The evaluation was carried out by Shiseido using Japan EPD Program by SuMPO (which complies with ISO/TS14067: 2013)
    Calculated using the container of the facial lotion sold in September 2022 and onward
  3. *3: For promotional materials of premium Japanese brands, such as set cases and hooks.

Initiatives to Build a Circular Model

Shiseido started a new scheme to collect used plastic cosmetics packaging in stores, utilizing a wide range of business partners and consumer touchpoints. As well as increasing consumer awareness about the value of used containers as a recyclable resource, we hope the scheme will help drive wider behavioral change in society and encourage competitors and companies in other industries to implement circular models.

In-store Collection and Recycling

To support and promote recycling, we collect used cosmetics packaging in-store and recycle it as new materials. We work with multiple parties to ensure containers are recycled fully and correctly, including customers, waste collection companies, and other companies.

Our skincare brand IPSA, for example, operates a recycling program to reduce its environmental impact and promote environmental awareness among consumers. In 2022, the brand collected approximately 63,000 (1,400 kg) cosmetics containers in China through 94 stores, and approximately 22,000 containers in Taiwan*1.

In Japan, we collected around 30,000 *1 used containers through 88 AEON stores in collaboration with Aeon Retail Co., Ltd., TerraCycle Japan*2, and other companies.

  1. *1:Collection period: January 2022 - December 2022.
  2. *2:TerraCycle is a US-based social enterprise whose mission is “Eliminating the Idea of Waste®.

Collaborating to Build a Circular Model for Plastic Cosmetics Containers

When developing cosmetic containers, protecting the contents, ensuring ease of use, and giving the premium look and feel are considered and designed. As a result, they have to be made from a wide variety of plastics, which can make it challenging to recycle them back into reusable plastic resources. To solve this issue, Shiseido launched an initiative in 2022 in collaboration with SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO., LTD. and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. The initiative involves creating a circular economy in which plastic cosmetics containers are collected and recycled without separating the materials. We are planning to manufacture recycled plastics in the future by collecting used cosmetic packaging, which we then turn into new cosmetic packaging. The three companies will be advancing this cross-sectoral alliance, while also calling on related industries and companies to join the effort to create a circular economy.

Circular Economy

“BeauRing” Circular Model Project for Plastic Cosmetics Containers

In 2023, we launched the “BeauRing” project – a circular model project to collect and recycle plastic containers into new ones for reuse. As well as driving in-house initiatives, we are encouraging other companies to join the project to expand the circle of resource circulation and, ultimately, create a sustainable society in which consumers use cosmetics with a more positive mindset. In April 2023, we began collecting used containers from several Shiseido product retailers in Yokohama. The POLA brand of POLA ORBIS HOLDINGS INC. joined in the project.

BeauRing

R Plus Japan Ltd.

To play a part in solving the global plastics recycling challenge, Shiseido invested in R Plus Japan in 2022 and engaged in recycling used plastics. By bringing together companies across the plastic packaging industry―from monomer and polymer manufacturers to packaging producers, trading, food and beverage companies―R Plus Japan aims to commercialize an efficient, low-environmental impact recycling technology by 2030.

R PLUS JAPAN

Formulas/Ingredients

Shiseido develops and provides safe and high-quality products and services based on more than a century’s experience in dermatology and material science.
From an environmental perspective, the sustainable and responsible procurement and use of these products is of the utmost importance. Our Global Innovation Center in Yokohama, Japan, which manages all regional centers, is working to select raw materials and develop formulations that are not only safe and functional but also respect the environment. In line with green chemistry principles, we carefully evaluate our raw materials, ingredients and formulas to ensure they are safe for the human body, have minimal environmental impact, and use natural and upcycled materials sourced through ethical procurement.

Environmental Initiatives

UV Care

We are accelerating innovation in the field of suncare to protect against UV and pursue coexistence between people, their ecosystems, and the environment. The effect caused by the climate change, UV exposure for people around the world is expected to increase*1. Exposure to UV rays over extended periods of time causes spots and wrinkles on the skin — symptoms of photoaging.

We have developed an innovative new technology to convert UV light into visible light (skin-beautifying light) that has beneficial effects for the skin. This is a first in cosmetics. We will continue our research in order to provide products and services with added benefits, including innovations like this that help people coexist more harmoniously with the environment.

We are assessing the impact that UV filters used in suncare products have on the ocean. This includes working with the University of the Ryukyus to assess the impact of each UV filter used in our products on coral*2, and performing simulations*3 of how suncare products spread into the ocean when used by people at the seashore. We are utilizing the results of these assessments for ingredient selection and the development of coral-respecting formulas, while applying them to suncare product development for both SHISEIDO and ANESSA.

In 2023, in order to evaluate the impact of cosmetic ingredients on marine ecosystems, we began a partnership agreement with Innoqua Inc., a start-up company with proprietary technology to reproduce ecosystems in an aquarium. The aquarium can reproduce possible future environmental change scenarios, including ‘rising seawater temperatures’, which are predicted to have a tremendous impact on marine life. This allows us to evaluate the impact of various cosmetic ingredients, such as those used in sunscreen, on the entire marine environment, including coral and other organisms.

  1. *1:According to an announcement by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
  2. *2:Egg-laying size groups of coral, excluding those in the planktonic larval and juvenile stages.
  3. *3:Utilizing the Tokyo Bay risk assessment model developed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology

Environmental Initiatives

Artificial marine ecosystem reproduced in an aquarium using environmental transfer technology developed by Innoqua Inc.

Transparent Information Disclosure

At Shiseido, we want to help tackle issues concerning people’s health and the environment. Therefore, we disclosed our company policies regarding the use of ingredients and raw materials that could be concerning for consumers, such as oxybenzone and parabens.

We comply with all relevant regulations in each country where we operate. In addition, we have our own in-house standards for ingredients – and only select ingredients that meet our strict safety, environmental, and ethical standards.

Procuring Sustainable Raw Materials

Shiseido strives to procure environmentally friendly, sustainable raw materials.

Palm oil is used in cosmetics and household goods for a range of purposes, including as a humectant and as an oil. However, palm oil production can have a significant impact on the environment. We have disclosed our medium- to long-term targets for the procurement of sustainable palm oil, as well as our goal to switch from palm oil to more sustainable raw materials. Please see the “Sustainable Raw Material Procurement” section for more details.

Brands That Caters to Consumer Needs

When selecting a product, consumers increasingly place importance on a company’s approach to social responsibility, environmental protection, and ethical raw material sourcing. At Shiseido, in addition to disclosing our corporate policy on ingredient and raw material sourcing, we work to develop brands with a strong environmental, social and ethical profile.

Drunk Elephant originating in the U.S. that sold in 40 countries and regions, for example, is a leading brand in the clean beauty market, known for its sustainable and responsible raw material procurement as well as its promotion of sustainable action. Taking this stance, the brand has gained significant support from Millennial and Generation Z consumers.

BAUM was established around the theme of coexistence with trees and offers environmentally friendly products. Its containers, for example, use sustainable raw materials―such as upcycled wood from furniture scraps, plant-derived PET, and recycled glass―and many containers are refillable. The brand is also growing its own forest by planting oak trees in the BAUM Oak Forest in Iwate Prefecture, Japan―some of this wood is even used as a raw material for packaging. Prior to being planted in the forest, the saplings are nurtured in BAUM stores.

In 2022, we launched the Ulé skincare brand in France. Based on plant-derived ingredients, Ulé promotes beauty both inside and outside the body. The brand emphasizes responsible procurement, product efficacy and safety, lower environmental impact, and transparency. To ensure clearer raw material traceability and reduce environmental impact from transportation, the brand buys its three botanical treasures (Centella, Coleus and Tulsi) and produces all its products locally in France. The names and origins of the raw materials can be found on the brand website.
Ulé was awarded the Young and Sustainable Brand Prize in the"Prix d'Excellence Marie-Claire" 2023, the most prestigious beauty awards in France.

Ulé

「Ulé」

ULE

No Animal Testing

We strive to provide safe and effective products to consumers while complying with cosmetics regulations and respecting the principles of animal protection. For all our cosmetics and quasi drugs, we have established a safety assurance system based on alternative methods using cell cultures or in silico*1, etc., that do not involve animal testing*2. We continue to develop effective alternatives to test product safety, and work with administrative agencies in various countries/regions to certify these methods as official, according to the laws and regulations of the given countries/regions.

  1. *1:A method of prediction by computer-based calculation.
  2. *2:Except when mandated by law.

Initiatives with External Institutions

Granting Technology License to Toyo University for Environmental Impact Reduction

In March 2020, Shiseido became the first WIPO GREEN* partner company from the cosmetics industry. In 2022, we granted Toyo University a license to use our low-energy manufacturing technology, which is listed in the WIPO GREEN database. Through joint research, Toyo University developed a low-environmental impact, sustainable hand serum using extract from boysenberries harvested near the university.

  • *The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency under the United Nations, responsible for developing international intellectual property systems. WIPO GREEN is an international framework for promoting innovation in environment-related technologies, and has more than 150 partner companies. As of April 2023, Shiseido had licensed out 11 patented technologies registered in the WIPO GREEN database.

Developing Cosmetic Ingredient Using Protein Fiber and Formulate It into Products

In 2022, we jointly developed a cosmetics ingredient using Brewed Protein™*1, a biodegradable*2 fiber made of plant-derived biomass developed by Spiber. This environmentally friendly material is being used in Shiseido mascara products to create supple and beautiful eyelashes. We are now looking into further applications of the fiber in other Shiseido products.

  1. *1:Brewed Protein™️ is a trademark or registered trademark of Spiber Inc., applicable in Japan and other countries.
  2. *2:Biodegradation of raw Brewed Protein™ fiber has been demonstrated in various natural environments including seawater, freshwater, and soil. (Tests for seawater and freshwater were conducted in accordance with ASTM D6691 and ISO 14851, respectively. The seawater test confirmed more than 70% biodegradation within 30 days.)

Exploring the Possibilities of Algae in the MATSURI Project

Shiseido has joined the MATSURI project, the world’s first corporate joint project to explore how algae can be used to drive a sustainable future. Powered by the sun, algae absorb CO₂ through photosynthesis, while also generating useful proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. More extensive use of algae is expected to contribute to lower CO₂ emissions in future, where algae products can replace fossil-derived raw materials. MATSURI Project partner companies will work together to develop new business opportunities for the cosmetic industry using algae as a raw material.

MATSURI

 

CAREERS