Sustainability at Aesop
As a company founded on steadfast ethics, our intention has always been to tread as lightly as we can, with an unwavering commitment to quality, excellence and integrity. Our approach to sustainability is guided by the areas in which we can have the greatest social and environmental impact, and the issues of greatest importance to our colleagues, customers and communities.
A commitment to protecting our environment
We are on a journey of reducing our footprint on a planet that generously sustains us while formulating products of the highest quality and efficacy. We have never tested our products or ingredients on animals, and we do not use animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax, honey or lanolin in our formulations. Our Ethical Sourcing Programme aims to ensure that our suppliers use environmentally responsible processes, have safe working conditions, and treat workers with dignity. Our packaging ethos has always been utilitarian: vessels must be functional, modest and have minimal environmental impact. We are proud to note that our recent progress includes:
- transitioning over 80% of our PET plastic bottles to a minimum 97% post-consumer Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (recycled PET) content; and
- introducing a screw cap variant of our 500 mL hand and body cleansers, saving 12 g plastic per unit with the re-use of a pump.
We are continuing to evaluate in-store packaging return programmes in several markets. We launched our first closed-loop refill trial in Adelaide, Australia, where customers can return 200 mL glass bottles to be cleaned, sanitised and refilled. After the successful launch of Rinse and Return Hong Kong, we expanded the programme to Taiwan during 2020, diverting over 4.5 tonnes of packaging material from landfill. In 2021, we also expanded the programme to Singapore. We are committed to taking climate action and to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2030.
Recognition for our efforts
So far, our progress has earned the approval of and certifications from renowned organisations, including B Corp, Cruelty Free International, PETA, Climate Active and South Pole’s Climate Neutral Company programme.
As a Certified B Corporation ®, we meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. The globally-recognised credential publicly endorses businesses as making an impact beyond profit by building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
B Corp’s rigorous certification process evaluated our business performance in five categories: governance, workers, community, environment and customers. Our certification demonstrates our unwavering commitment to managing our ecological footprint through responsible business practices. These practices include designing sustainable stores and products; sourcing ethical ingredients; supporting local communities; and respecting all individuals.
Learn more about our certification by reading our B Corp submission.
We believe that personal care and home products should be cruelty free, and are proud to be Leaping Bunny approved. A global programme, Leaping Bunny requires cruelty-free standards over and above legal requirements.
All our formulations for skin, hair, fragrance, body, hand and home are approved under the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny programme, the internationally recognised gold standard for cruelty-free products. We adhere to a fixed cut-off date policy and proactively monitor our suppliers to ensure that our products continue to adhere to the Leaping Bunny criteria. Our supplier monitoring system is also independently audited.
For more information about Cruelty Free International, Leaping Bunny and Leaping Bunny criteria, please visit their website.
We are included on PETA’s cruelty-free and vegan lists.
Our Australia and New Zealand operations are certified carbon neutral under the Australian government scheme Climate Active, and have been since 2018. More recently we reached carbon neutrality for the remainder of our global business, obtaining South Pole’s Climate Neutral Company label. In addition to these labels, our offsetting program was expanded to include emissions from raw materials and our products’ end-of-life.
However, we recognise offsetting is not enough and aim to reach net zero emissions without offsetting by no later than 2030.
*Certified B Corporation ®; Leaping Bunny approved; certified carbon neutral in Australia and New Zealand.
Our people and communities
We understand the value of our employees and are focused on nurturing an inclusive, engaged culture, where all employees are empowered to contribute, develop and thrive. Our global initiatives to support our people include a global parental leave policy, flexible work policy, and a dedicated health and wellbeing program.
We have long supported the communities in which we operate and aim to create a network of partners who share our values. From subtle gestures of generosity to more substantial donations, our commitments extend beyond monetary support to provide the benefits of enduring relationships. Aesop staff are also encouraged to volunteer one per cent of their time to local charitable organisations.
Informed by a 30-year legacy of nourishing our communities, the Aesop Foundation partners with charities that amplify the voices of those who may not otherwise have a platform, with an emphasis on the development of literacy.
Learn about the Aesop Foundation here.