Over the past two years, the beauty industry has seen topics like supply chain management and sustainability strategy take center stage. Historically relegated to “back office” activities, these operational processes and principles lacked the thrill and appeal of rich M&A transactions or the latest celebrity product launch. But supply chain management is having its moment with newfound visibility to demand planning, procurement, freight logistics, warehousing, and fulfillment. Similarly, sustainability has become a foundational tenet for many beauty brands and businesses, with product transparency, material circularity, responsible sourcing, and DE&I initiatives baked into business strategies and ways of working.
Akemi Ooka, Head of Supply Chain and Sustainability Resources, shared, “This summit is a great resource for any startup wanting to get insider information on the latest in supply chain news, raw material updates and to learn industry best practices.”
Kathryn Beaton, Head of Operations + Brand Development, i-On Skincare, said, “Greenwashing is a thing, and this summit is a great first step towards understanding more about it, how to not fall prey to it, and how to best safeguard your brand against.”
The Independent Beauty Association, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade association, recognized this evolution and created a new committee in early 2022 to develop programming dedicated to content on supply chain and sustainability in the beauty sector. Don Frey, IBA’s President and CEO, notes, “Over the last year, the IBA Supply Chain and Sustainability Resources Committee has been identifying a multitude of issues and challenges related to day-to-day operations of Brands, Contract Manufacturers, Ingredient Suppliers, Packaging Vendors and Logistics Companies … the [supply chain and sustainability] issues were all intertwined but also linked to Sales, Finance and Company Valuation.”
One of the key aspirations of the committee was to create a symposium to discuss these intersections in the beauty industry. The Supply Chain and Sustainability Summit is a way to bring this information together in a compact, interactive forum, especially tailored to the interests of the sector. The virtual conference, running across two half-days and featuring speakers from Burt’s Bees to Barentz, tackles a variety of topics, with special focus on information and tools typically only accessible to larger companies. This includes ingredient and packaging market drivers, innovative ideas to create scale in sustainability, and realistic approaches to help with ESG strategy and measurement. For emerging and mid-sized brands, this kind of information helps to contextualize sourcing, supply, and sustainability discussions with management, investors, and retailers.
Frey emphasizes the need for that dialogue, remarking that “At the end of each day, we will host a panel discussion to connect the dots and talk about how these factors affect businesses as a whole. All in all, I think the team has put together a unique event that will be valuable to multiple stakeholders in every organization.”
IBA’s Supply Chain and Sustainability Summit will be held October 19-20, 2022.
“The agenda and speaker lineup for this event will deliver tactical takeaways, inspiration, and guidance on the most complex topics that companies are facing today. Attend to hear case studies on innovative partnerships, watchouts as you source sustainable packaging, the latest in upcoming regulations, best practices for engaging suppliers, and a detailed breakdown of the alphabet soup making up the world of sustainability!” said Gracee Shorter, Enterprise Account Executive, EcoVadis.
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