Understand the Environmental and Social Impacts of Products 

To consume more sustainably and act together for a better future


Green Impact Index LP2 EN

More and more of you are determined to take action in response to the ecological and social crises facing our planet, by making informed choices about what you consume. Understanding the impacts of your decisions is a big step toward a responsible approach. We created the Green Impact Index to help you do just that. The goal of the Index is to inform you about the social and environmental impact of our products. It will also help us continuously improve their eco-social design.

What do we mean by the environmental impact of a product?

Every stage of the life cycle of a cosmetic or family healthcare product generates impacts on the environment. 
No product, even if it claims to be “green” or “environmentally friendly,” is entirely neutral with regard to the environment. That’s because all products need raw materials and energy to produce and transport them, and sometimes to use them as well; and one day, they become waste, which needs to be recycled or disposed of. 

All of that generates impacts on the environment to some degree, and those impacts affect the quality of the air, water, natural resources and human health. By studying a product’s life cycle and quantifying each of those impacts very precisely, we identify leverage for reducing them to the absolute minimum. 

The Green Impact Index, the tool for measuring the social and environmental impact of dermo-cosmetic and family healthcare products designed by Green Mission Pierre Fabre (the group’s entity dedicated to naturalness and sustainable development), focuses on 14 environmental criteria to assess their real impact on the planet. 

The three major impacts of a product on the environment 

Carbon footprint

Corresponds to the amount of greenhouse gas (CO2) emitted throughout the product’s life cycle. CO2emissions contribute to global warming and climate change: cutting them is therefore essential. For example, a good score for packaging-related CO2 emissions is somewhere between 0 and 100g CO2 equivalent per liter of product. The Pierre Fabre group’s portfolio currently contains around 15 packaging models whose carbon impact falls within that range, and we’re working hard to improve the others.

Another lever is the naturalness of our formulas, which allows us to limit the use of materials of petrochemical origin.

Boosting the naturalness of our formulas means finding natural, renewable alternatives for petrochemical materials—in other words, those derived from fossil fuels—, making sure that the conditions in which those alternatives are cultivated or collected respect biodiversity. To assess how natural an ingredient is, we identify the resource and its origin before analyzing all the stages involved in its production. We also use an approach to calculate the naturalness of raw materials based on the ISO 16128 standard, an internationally recognized guideline. 

Water footprint

Corresponds to the amount of water used to produce a product’s components and packaging, and for its manufacture, as well as the water consumed when it is used (as an example, your shower accounts for about 60% of your shampoo’s water footprint). We can’t control how long you spend in the shower, so when we study a product’s environmental impact, we don’t include this use phase. We made the decision to focus on those areas we’re responsible for and our levers for action, not yours.


Aquatic ecotoxicity

Refers to the pollution sustained by water bodies and aquatic ecosystems due to the ingredients found in wastewater, regardless of whether it comes from a product’s manufacture or end-of-life treatment, and the wastewater from your shower released by water treatment plants... This pollution leads to eutrophication, i.e. an accumulation of nutrients in aquatic environments and, consequently, an overabundance of plants and algae, followed by oxygen depletion which eventually “chokes” the entire ecosystem. Certain species disappear and the water body may gradually dry up.

We strive to increase the biodegradability of our formulas by selecting ingredients which are themselves biodegradable, and withdrawing any inhibitor ingredients which interfere with the biodegradation process.

For dermo-cosmetic products, we study biodegradability in the specific conditions of a water treatment plant, since that’s where most of their residue ends up, using the OECD 301B test.
A formula is said to be “biodegradable” if its organic compounds are capable of being decomposed by 60% within 28 days by microorganisms, and “readily biodegradable” if they are decomposed in 10 days. 


What do we mean by the social impact of a product? 

We talk about a product’s social impact to assess the benefits for its users, producers and, more broadly speaking, for society as a whole. Our approach to the eco-social design of our products aims to achieve the highest number of positive social impacts, all of which are measured by the Green Impact Index through analysis of 6 criteria.


Everything you need to know about the Green Impact Index 

Naturalness and eco-social responsibility, championed by Green Mission Pierre Fabre, are taken up by every brand and product through their own commitments. They may be expressed in the form of certifications (organic, fair trade), as for example when we opt to use organic farming practices on our land in the Tarn region of France to grow the cornflower used in some Klorane products. By pursuing those principles, we encourage local, sustainable, forward-looking farming practices that respect biodiversity and local populations. 

Controlling the social conditions in which our products are manufactured is one of our top-priority commitments, and is guaranteed as over 90% of our products are manufactured at our French production facilities. Our production facility in Gaillac (Tarn), where most of the active ingredients for our dermo-cosmetic and family health care products are produced, has been certified OHSAS since 2010, and ISO 45001 since 2019, when the new standard for occupational health and safety came into force. 


We also promote fair trade, for example by selecting Pfaffia root as the raw material for producing one of the plant-based key ingredients of the Triphasic range by René Furterer. This ingredient is sourced from Fair for Life certified supply chains and is organically farmed in Brazil. René Furterer has chosen to bear the cost of a third-party certification body (Ecocert) to give the supplier a helping hand to develop its farm in a sustainable way.

Lastly, we have undertaken commitments with our stakeholders. One example is the Ducray brand, which supports patient associations that help people suffering from various types of inflammatory dermatitis. These partnerships help keep patients informed about their disorders and improve their quality of life, while at the same time pushing for clinical innovation to improve the treatments available for the disease.  The brand supports 14 associations worldwide, including the Eczema Society of Canada and Psoriasis Network, also in Canada, Atopy-Asthma Education Information Center in South Korea, and the Portuguese Psoriasis Group.

A fair-trade product guarantees producers receive a fair price for their produce, and ensures transparency and respect for people and the environment at every step in the supply chain. Thanks to shorter supply chains, producers receive a higher revenue, and are offered the opportunity to play a key role in their own development model. Several international organizations such as Fair Trade and Oxfam offer recognized standards that control the use of the Fair Trade claim. 


More about our commitments

What do we mean by the eco-social design of a product?

Designing a product means taking into consideration all the stages of its life cycle (manufacture or extraction of raw materials, production, transport, use and end of life) and all the stakeholders impacted by the product. 


We talk about eco-social design when we design a product with the following objectives in mind: 

  • limit its environmental impacts at every stage of the life cycle, through an eco-design approach 
  • have a positive impact on society, though official certifications, local manufacture, sourcing from fair trade supply chains, support for sustainable and organic farming, and so on, through a socio-design approach 

Here at Pierre Fabre, inspired by our naturalness and sustainable development goals, championed by Green Mission Pierre Fabre, we are committed, day after day, to innovating, developing and improving the eco-social design of our products for the benefit of nature and people. 

We draw on our long-standing expertise in the field of product Life Cycle Assessments (LCA). We conducted the first assessment of its type back in 2008, on the Extra Gentle shampoo by Ducray. To mark the 20th anniversary of the brand’s leading shampoo, this LCA highlighted levers for eco-design and led to the creation of a new biodegradable Extra Gentle formula, which has been continually improved ever since. 

Since then, the Group’s brands have carried out numerous eco-social design projects, focusing on formulas (biodegradability, naturalness, ecotoxicity, number of ingredients, etc.) as well as packaging (reducing mass, incorporating recycled materials and improving the recycling rate, PEFC/FSC certified cardboard). 

The Green Impact Index, which measures the social and environmental commitment of our products, is the result of all these years of research and continuous improvement, driven by our desire to constantly improve the way we protect nature and people. Since 2019, all our new products have been eco-socially designed (A or B score) and over half of our entire product portfolio will be eco-designed by 2023.


Discover the first scores of the Group’s products 


The Green Impact Index, a tool for measuring the eco-social design of our products


The Green Impact Index, a tool for measuring the eco-social design of our products

Actively committed to nature conservation from the very beginning, and acutely aware of its responsibilities, the Pierre Fabre group gives top priority to the social and environmental impact of its products. We invest time and effort in eco-social design and work hard to keep consumers and patients informed about our efforts, in full transparency. 

Green Mission works cross-functionally throughout the Group to reassert our CSR commitments and our values, and make sure the Group’s Naturalness and Eco-social responsibility strategy is widely known. After 10 years devoted to the study of eco-social design by our leading experts, Green Mission has developed a tool for measuring the eco-social design of cosmetic and family healthcare products. 

What goals are we aiming for with the Green Impact Index? 

  • help consumers to understand the impact of the products they buy so they can make informed choices that reflect their convictions, and take action at their own level
  • improve and develop eco-social designed products that are ever more respectful of people and nature

The Green Impact Index, our tool for measuring the social and environmental impact of our products 

We take care of life by designing and developing innovative solutions inspired by consumers and patients, and contributing to the well-being of everyone from health to beauty.