Accord Sustainability Charter

As leaders in the delivery of innovative and high-quality hygiene, cosmetic and specialty products and services, Accord and our Member Companies generate significant economic value for our community, industry and governments and drive economic progress up- and down-stream of our industry.

Within this context, Accord and our Member Companies have an important and valuable role to play in creating positive social and environmental impacts through our products, practices and performance.

This Sustainability Charter of Accord is an industry framework designed to actively foster social responsibility and environmental stewardship in our Member Companies and industry.

The Charter sets out the key sustainability principles and commitments that aim to both continue driving our industry’s economic value and improve its social and environmental performance. Where applicable, these are linked to the relevant Sustainable Development Goals.


The Charter’s key principles are:

Social responsibility: Encourage Member Companies and industry to promote the health and wellbeing of customers and communities, abide by internationally recognised standards of labour, health and safety, engage in proactive ethical sourcing and responsible business practices, drive positive community interactions and communicate with transparency. Read more

Environmental stewardship: Encourage Member Companies and industry to protect the natural environment, optimise resource efficiency throughout the product lifecycle and to play an active role in helping solve industry related environmental issues. Read more

The Sustainability Charter of Accord is designed as a tool kit to provide resources and best-practice examples to equip and inspire Member Companies and industry to address industry-related social and environmental issues.


The Charter was first published in 2012 and was updated in 2019 by the Accord Innovation & Sustainability Executive Committee

Do you have a program or initiative to address an industry-related social or environmental issue
that Accord can use as a case study within the Sustainability Charter tool kit?

Please email: jsemple@accord.asn.au

Social responsibility

As an industry that makes a significant contribution to the lives of customers and communities through our products, services and expertise, we have a social responsibility to consistently deliver positive health and quality of life outcomes.

At the same time, we must work to deliver these products and services in a way that is ethical, transparent, drives positive community interactions and abides by internationally recognised standards of labour, health and safety.

Accord actively encourages Member Companies and industry to:

  Relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 3, 6 and 10.

Area of Focus Tool Kit
Designing products that are fit for purpose

 

Accord resources promoting best practice delivery of industry products:

External resources and programs:

Promoting the safe use of products

 

Accord resources promoting industry-wide best practice in ensuring the safe use of products:

Implementing community health, wellbeing and economic programs

 

Accord programs promoting health and wellbeing of communities:

Look Good Feel Better – The cosmetic industry’s valued cancer patient support program.

Accord Member Company Programs (examples):

  • Amway: Amway One By One Foundation – Partners with children’s charity organisations to provide goods and financial assistance.
  • GSK: PULSE Volunteer Partnership – Employees spend 3-6 months at a non-profit organisation to help solve healthcare challenges at home and abroad.
  • Keune: The Keune Foundation – Provides financial assistance to Australian families when one of their children is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
  • L’OCCITANE: Program for Women’s Leadership – Provides literacy, educational, micro-credit and leadership programs to women in Burkina Faso.
  • L’Oréal Australia: L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science – Supports and recognises accomplished women researchers; encourages more young women to enter the sciences and assists them as they progress.
  • Muk Hair Care: Supports the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation through product sales–based donations, which aims to improve the survival rates of Pancreatic Cancer patients through awareness-raising and investment in medical research; and, partners with youth support and mentoring programme, Ladder, by hosting and facilitating makeovers for disadvantaged youth.
  • NowChem: Inspire Youth Australia Foundation – Provides leadership training and problem solving to regional youth including local change programs based around the UN sustainability goals.
  • Unilever (in partnership with The Butterfly Foundation): Dove Self-esteem Program – Promotes positive body image and self-esteem in young people.
  Relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 8.

Area of Focus Tool Kit
Implementing ethical labour practices

 

Accord resources promoting best-practice labour practices:

Accord Member company programs (examples):

  • Coty: We Stand For You – A program focusing on employee inclusion and diversity.
  • LVMH: WeCareForModels.com – Provides models with information and advice from professionals concerning well-being; and Charter on Working Relations With Fashion Models and Their Well-Being – introduces rules relating to working conditions, health and models who are minors.

External resources and programs:

Promoting employee health and safety External resources:

Improving employee training and education Accord training and education programs (contact coh@accord.asn.au):

  • Regulatory Basics
  • Storage and Handling of Dangerous Goods
  • Chemical Scheduling

External resources and programs:

  Relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 8.

Area of Focus Tool Kit
Designing and executing an ethical sourcing strategy

 

Accord resources promoting best-practice trading:

Accord Member company programs (examples):

External resources and programs:

  • AIM-PROGRESS – A membership organisation for FMCG supply chain manufacturers and suppliers, promoting responsible and sustainable supply chains.
  • Fairtrade Australia – Independent third-party certification providing ‘a robust and transparent audit of the supply chain process from farmer, to exporter or trader’.
  • GRI Sustainable Reporting Standards – Helps organisations understand and communicate their impacts on key social issues, including relating to key social supply chain impacts:
  • Informed 365 – Australian supply chain mapping & reporting company.
  • ITC Standards Map – An online tool providing comprehensive, verified and transparent information on over 240 existing standards, codes and audit protocols.
  • ITC Sustainability Map – Supports sustainable practices in global supply chains by increasing understanding of the sustainability initiatives landscape and by facilitating connections with business partners.
  • SEDEX (Suppliers’ Ethical Data Exchange) – A membership organisation sharing ethical sourcing information with the aim of empowering responsible supply chains.
  • The Flexible Framework – A self-assessment mechanism that helps organisations measure and monitor their sustainable procurement progress, including sections on ‘Procurement’ and ‘Engaging suppliers’, that include embedding sustainability into the procurement process and engaging with suppliers with openness and transparency.
  • Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT) Certified Sourcing – Natural ingredient sourcing with a focus on people (and biodiversity).
  Relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Target 16.6 – Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels).

Area of Focus Tool Kit
Upholding consumers’ ‘right to know’ Accord resources promoting the consumer’s ‘right to know’:

  • ‘What’s in it?’ – A voluntary ingredient disclosure initiative for household cleaning products.

Accord Member Company initiatives (examples):

  • SC Johnson & Son: What’s Inside – Ingredient disclosure, including of fragrance components
Guaranteeing clear and accessible directions for use  External resources and programs:

Providing true, relevant and non-misleading claims Accord resources promoting best practice on factual claims:

External resources and programs:

Effectively communicating product and industry benefits to wider society Accord resources communicating the indispensable contribution of the hygiene, personal care and specialty chemical industry and its products to daily life:

  • Accord Website – Summarises the many benefits our industry provides across all sectors.
  • Hygiene for Health – Provides information on the benefits of hygiene for personal care, in the home, out and about and in industry.

Accord Member Company Programs (examples):

External organisations:

  • Food Safety Information Council – Health promotion charity and the national voice for science-based, consumer-focused food safety information in Australia.
Addressing product and ingredient misinformation Accord resources clarifying misconceptions about industry products:

Environmental stewardship

All industries have the responsibility to protect the natural environment. As an industry whose impacts on the environment can be significant, we must continue to improve the environmental attributes of our practices, products and services and continue to play a leading role in solving industry-related environmental issues.

Accord actively encourages Member Companies and industry to:

   Relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 6, 12, 14 and 15.

Area of Focus Tool Kit
Implementing environmentally sustainable sourcing practices

 

 

Accord resources promoting best-practice sustainable sourcing:

  • Ethical Sourcing Information Paper and Guidance Document – Describe environmental considerations in ethical sourcing and some business principles and practices to consider.
  • Palm oil Information Paper – Provides general information on palm oil, concerns relating to its potential environmental & social impacts and some approaches to address these. There is a specific focus on palm oil as a feedstock and ingredient for hygiene, cosmetic and specialty chemical applications.

Accord Member company programs (examples):

  • Unilever: Sustainable Agriculture Code – a collection of good practices that aim to codify important aspects of sustainability in farming and apply them in the Supply Chain

External resources and programs:

Optimising product life cycle characteristics Australian organisations offering lifecycle analysis/design services (for example):

Protecting biodiversity Accord Member company programs (examples):

External resources promoting protection of biodiversity:

Implementing and encouraging best water practice

 

 

Accord programs promoting best practice in water quality and usage:

  • BeadRecede – The campaign that drove Australia’s voluntary industry phase out of plastic microbeads in ‘rinse-off’ cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products.
  • Phosphorus Standard – The campaign driving industry-wide reformulation to no- or low-phosphorus household laundry detergents.
  • Recognised® Scheme – A third-party assessed ecolabel identifying environmentally preferable commercial cleaning products.
  • WashWise – Provides comprehensive advice on sustainable laundry practices, and includes WashWise Lower Sodium Products, a regularly-updated listing of lower-sodium laundry detergents in the Australian marketplace.
  • WipeSmart – Provides information on wet wipes with a focus of reminding consumers that most wet wipes need to be binned, not flushed.

Accord Member company programs (examples):

  • Colgate-Palmolive: EveryDropCounts – A in initiative to conserve water by promoting behavioural change, including via an online pledge.
  • Ecolab: Smart Water Navigator – A practical roadmap to help organisations implement sustainable water practices based on a simple 13-question assessment; and Water Risk Monetizer – A financial modelling tool helping organisations to factor water scarcity into decisions that support business growth and help ensure the availability of fresh water for future generations.

External resources and programs:

  Relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 7, 9, 12 and 13.

Area of Focus Tool Kit
Optimising energy efficiency, reducing emissions and increasing renewable energy inputs

 

External resources and programs:

  • Carbon Footprint – UK-based organisation that provides some free online carbon calculators and other resources for small business.
  • CarbonNeutral – Helps organisations across Australia, and beyond, minimise their impact on the environment by working with them to measure, reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Energetics – Australian business providing a range of energy services relating to energy accounting, energy efficiency, energy risk and clean energy opportunities.
  • GRI Sustainable Reporting Standards – Helps organisations understand and communicate their impacts on key environmental issues:
  • International Standards:
    • ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems – A practical guide to help SMEs understand the requirements of an environmental management system and successfully implement ISO 14001.
    • ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management Systems – Specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system, promoting a systematic approach to achieving continual improvement of energy performance.
    • ISO 14064-1 Greenhouse Gases – Specifies principles and requirements at the organisational level for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removal.
  • NSW Government information – Provides business energy management information and offers.
  • VIC Government information – Provides business energy advice.
Improving environmental attributes of packaging through design, material efficiency and recoverability Accord Member company programs (examples):

External resources and programs:

Minimising wastage

 

External resources and programs:

  • Alliance to End Plastic Waste – A NFP organisation spanning the plastics value chain that aims to address plastic waste in the environment through collaboration on infrastructure, education & engagement and innovation.
  • ChemClear – A program for chemical disposal, with 98% of chemicals collected used as an alternate fuel source.
  • Good360 – A charity that redistributes excess goods to NFP organisations.
  • ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems – A standard designed to enhance environmental performance of environmental management systems.
  • Sustainability Advantage NSW – A program to help NSW organisations achieve increased competitiveness through better environmental practices, including modules Resource Efficiency and Green Lean.
  • Sustainable Salons – A resource recovery service for the salon environment.
  • Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia Circular Economy Work Group – A platform for companies to reinvent how they find, use and dispose of materials and create scalable solutions.

Australian organisations specialising in circular economy / cradle to cradle solutions (for example):

  Relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 16.

Key focus area Tools, resources & best practice examples
Supporting basic research and policy development around environmental issues Accord surveys/reports on our industry’s environmental impact:

Accord voluntary industry initiatives, which have driven measurable industry-wide change:

  • BeadRecede – The campaign that drove Australia’s voluntary industry phase out of plastic microbeads in ‘rinse-off’ cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products.
  • Phosphorus Standard – The campaign driving industry-wide reformulation to no- or low-phosphorus household laundry detergents.
Communicating the safe disposal of industry products Accord initiatives:

  • WipeSmart – A consumer education initiative to promote better use and disposal of wet wipes to prevent sewer blockages.