Douglas to “anchor sustainability” by prioritizing clean beauty, diversity and climate protection

German beauty retailer Douglas has released its first sustainability report which sets out its global strategy and targets for 26 countries. Its key initiatives revolve around showcasing clean beauty and natural cosmetics across its product line, ensuring diversity is championed across its brand, and achieving climate neutrality in scopes 1 and 2 (direct and indirect emissions) by the end of 2025.

Tina Müller, CEO of the Douglas Group, said the company is aware of its great ecological and social responsibility. She added: “At the same time, the expectations of our customers have risen considerably: sustainability aspects are among the decisive purchasing criteria alongside quality and price.”

“Sustainable thinking and acting must be among the top priorities in our own activities as well as in cooperation with suppliers and business partners.”

Define a sustainable development strategy

In developing its first global sustainability report, Douglas details its priorities and plans, focusing on four main areas of action: people, products, planets and governance. By forming these key areas, Douglas identifies several priority issues, centered on the company’s operations and teams and its impact on the whole world.

Commercially, Douglas will focus on customer satisfaction and shopping experience, diversity, equality and inclusion, and employee engagement. In order to consider its global impact, the brand has decided to prioritize its sustainable range, especially for private labels, including CO2 emissions reduction, resource efficiency and environmental commitment, social and governance (ESG) management.

“We will be measured by our plans and promises and communicate progress on an ongoing and transparent basis,” Muller said. “Together with our employees, our customers and the industry, we want to embed sustainability as an integral part of all areas of our business.

“It starts with raising awareness, continues with changes in attitude and behavior, turns into concrete measures and projects, ultimately leading to tangible and effective results”,Muller adds.

Cultivate the presence of clean, natural beauty

Clean beauty and natural cosmetics are increasingly at the forefront of the European beauty supplier’s strategy. The brand favors their presence in its product range, especially in its brand collections. Douglas says he plans to work closely with industry and suppliers to significantly expand his range of sustainable cosmetics and beauty products.

Developing sustainability and transparency in the beauty industry has seen Douglas set goals for its product collection. To date, the brand has introduced labeling to its line of clean beauty products and declares that all products launched since 2020 are free of microplastics. Additionally, in 2021/2022, 63% of its new branded products will be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) compliant. By 2030, more than 50% of Douglas brand products will be made from recycled materials.

The organization develops recycling systems in developing countries to combat plastic waste in the oceans and poverty in affected regions. As part of the cooperation, Douglas says a contribution is made to social enterprise Plastic Bank for every item sold under the company’s Home Spa and Essential brands.

In search of diversity

Douglas aims to be a company that truly champions and realizes diversity and gender equality. The Düsseldorf-based company reports that more than half of the group’s management positions are held by women.

In 2022, the company is preparing an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) for the entire organization and focusing on training, offering a dual curriculum to give high school graduates the opportunity to combine a bachelor’s degree with elements practice.

Achieve climate neutral status

With the perfumery chain citing climate protection as a top priority, Douglas aims to become climate neutral in its business operations by the end of 2025.

The European premium retailer has set a target to reduce CO2e emissions from its own business operations (Scope 1 and 2) by at least half by the end of 2025 compared to the base year 2019. To achieve its goal of climate neutrality, Douglas will further reduce emissions to close the gap in 2025 and says it will offset unavoidable emissions with certified standards.

Materials are also an area that Douglas wants to transform. Keen to conserve valuable resources, the brand is exploring various options to increase the proportion of recycled materials while simultaneously reducing the amount of waste generated within the company.

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