Unilever Ramps Up War on An­i­mal Test­ing

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY SA­MAN­THA CONTI

LON­DON — Unilever is mov­ing to the front lines in the war on an­i­mal test­ing in cos­met­ics through a part­ner­ship with Hu­mane So­ci­ety In­ter­na­tional, and cru­elty-free ac­cred­i­ta­tion for its Dove brand from PETA.

Oc­to­ber is prov­ing one busy month for the con­sumer goods giant, par­ent of brands rang­ing from Dove and Vase­line to Ben & Jerry’s and Lip­ton: Last week, it nixed plans to quit Lon­don and base it­self fully in the Nether­lands, bow­ing to pres­sure from ma­jor share­hold­ers who want it to re­main a blue-chip com­pany on Lon­don’s Stock Ex­change.

On Tues­day, Unilever will re­veal that it’s sup­port­ing a global ban on an­i­mal test­ing for cos­met­ics as part of a deal with Hu­mane So­ci­ety In­ter­na­tional. It will also say that PETA has of­fi­cially rec­og­nized Dove, Unilever’s largest beauty and per­sonal-care brand, as a brand that does not test on an­i­mals any­where in the world.

Unilever will sup­port HSI’s global #BeCru­el­tyFree ini­tia­tive, which is lob­by­ing for leg­isla­tive re­form in key beauty mar­kets to pro­hibit cos­metic an­i­mal test­ing and trade, con­sis­tent with the Eu­ro­pean Union model. An­i­mal test­ing for cos­met­ics has been banned in the EU since 2013.

Unilever and HSI have launched a mul­ti­year, open col­lab­o­ra­tion to de­velop long-term, an­i­mal-free test­ing so­lu­tions across com­pa­nies and reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties. One aim is to in­vest in train­ing fu­ture safety sci­en­tists in “next gen­er­a­tion” risk as­sess­ments that don’t in­volve an­i­mals.

David Blan­chard, chief re­search and de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer at Unilever, said the hope is that other coun­tries adopt the EU model, de­velop al­ter­na­tive ap­proaches to test­ing prod­ucts’ safety and elim­i­nate the need “for any an­i­mal test­ing for cos­met­ics any­where in the world.”

Dove will be­gin dis­play­ing PETA’s cru­elty-free logo on its pack­ag­ing from Jan­uary, trum­pet­ing to cus­tomers that it does not, and will not, test on an­i­mals.

So­phie Gal­vani, vice pres­i­dent of Dove Global, said for more than 30 years the brand has used “nonan­i­mal ap­proaches to as­sess the safety of our prod­ucts and in­gre­di­ents, and we are de­lighted to say that our prod­ucts will now carry PETA’s cru­elty-free logo.”

PETA also plans to list Unilever as a “com­pany work­ing for reg­u­la­tory change,” mean­ing that Unilever con­ducts no tests on an­i­mals un­less specif­i­cally re­quired by law for any of its brands or prod­ucts.

Unilever is no stranger to the fight against an­i­mal test­ing: Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, it has more than 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in de­vel­op­ing nonan­i­mal ap­proaches for as­sur­ing prod­uct safety, col­lab­o­rat­ing with more than 50 key part­ners across the world, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ments and NGOs.

The com­pany said it shares its sci­en­tific ex­per­tise and ap­proaches, and has of­fered to col­lab­o­rate with a range of stake­hold­ers on a global scale to share its safety as­sess­ment knowl­edge.

“We’re very hope­ful that through col­lab­o­ra­tion — amongst com­pa­nies, NGOs and gov­ern­ments — it will soon be pos­si­ble to as­sess the safety of all cos­met­ics prod­ucts with­out any need for an­i­mal test­ing any­where in the world,” said Blan­chard.

The lat­est moves are part of Unilever’s wider Sus­tain­able Liv­ing Plan, which in­volves in­ter­na­tional health and well­be­ing ini­tia­tives and a com­mit­ment to halv­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of its prod­ucts by 2030.

The com­pany said its sus­tain­able liv­ing brands are grow­ing 46 per­cent faster than the rest of the busi­ness and de­liv­ered 70 per­cent of the com­pany’s growth in 2017. Unilever has pledged to be­come car­bon pos­i­tive in its op­er­a­tions by 2030, and to en­sure that 100 per­cent of its plas­tic pack­ag­ing is fully re­us­able, re­cy­clable or com­postable by 2025.

The com­pany’s largest per­sonal-care brand, Dove, has gained PETA cru­elty-free ac­cred­i­ta­tion.

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