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Product initiatives

Shiseido adopted the Production Eco Standards, a series of environmental standards governing the product design process, in fiscal 2010. To ensure that these standards are observed in all relevant operations, we are holding workshops and other programs for product planning departments. We aim to grow our business with minimal environmental load in the value chain not simply by incorporating environmental considerations into product planning, but rather by adding compelling value to products so that customers' hearts will be moved.

Using mechanically recycled PET for product containers

In September of 2015, Shiseido started using the PET resin, which was mechanically recycled from collected PET bottles, for containers of SEA BREEZE.

Mechanical recycling has better recycling efficiency compared to the conventional chemical method of recycling PET resin from PET bottles, meaning that this recycling method has less burden on the environment(*). It is already being used for PET bottles for drinks, etc. due to its high quality. We have been successfully able to produce environmentally-friendly containers by resolving the issue that is unique to cosmetics containers, which are complex and thick. Through this initiative, we can reduce not only our petroleum use, which is an exhaustible resource, but also the CO2 emissions by approximately 22 tons per year compared to using virgin PET.

SEA BREEZE that began using mechanically recycled PET

SEA BREEZE that began using mechanically recycled PET

*Example of the mechanical recycling process
Example of the mechanical recycling process

Released products containing raw materials with “clear background”, which were grown in our internal plant factory

In recent years, customers’ needs toward safety/security, such as traceability, have been growing due to not only the expansion of the natural/organic cosmetics market but also numerous food fraud issues, etc.

In December of 2012, Shiseido established a plant factory, which can efficiently cultivate plants used as raw materials of cosmetics, inside of the Kakegawa Factory (Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture). In this factory, we have promoted developing safe and secure plant raw materials with “clear background”. In the plant factory, we efficiently grow seedlings while maintaining the optimal environment for various conditions, which are required for plants to grow (such as temperature, watering condition, lighting strength, light exposure duration, and CO2 concentration). “Chamomile” and “Rosemary” seedlings, which were grown in this plant factory, were then grown in an external commissioned farm. We released products containing the plant extract, which was derived from these plants, from a group company Ettusais in June of 2014.

Through these initiatives that allow us to control the harvested amount of raw materials, we can not only avoid supply risks of plant raw materials used in Shiseido but also prevent depletion of raw material plants and reduce the impact on the ecosystem in the production site.

Our internal plant factory

Our internal plant factory

Environmental initiatives associated with the redesign of clé de peau BEAUTÉ Skincare Products

In order to satisfy consumers seeking total "authenticity," Shiseido Group's luxury brand, clé de peau BEAUTÉ, aims to be "luxurious" in all aspects, naturally in terms of product quality as well.

By utilizing the skincare renewal in January of 2011 as a good opportunity, we conducted initiatives such as follows:

  • 1. Formulated all skincare items with “sandalwood”, which is fragrance procured from fair trade (*1) sources.
  • 2. Introduced a refill product for la crème (cream) for the first time.
  • 3. Adopted bagasse paper (*2) for exterior packages and package inserts (instructions) of products.

Since then, we have been continuing our sustainable initiatives, such as incorporating a fair-trade raw material (premium argan oil) into part of the products such as “Enriched lip luminizer (Lipsticks)”, “Luminizing face enhancer (Highlighters)”, etc., and using FSC-certified paper (*3) for printed inserts, etc.
clé de peau BEAUTÉ places importance on connections with nature and society and delivers products that take into account the environment as well as product quality.

  • *1An initiative aimed at improving living standards and promoting the independence of producers and workers in developing countries by continuously purchasing raw materials or goods at optimal prices. It also contributes to environmental preservation by preventing such aspects as the overexploitation of resources in order to realize sustainable use.
  • *2Non-wood paper made from fiber after extracting the sugar content from sugarcane
  • *3Paper that has been certified as a “product that has been produced from a well-managed forest”
clé de peau BEAUTÉ la crème n (cream)

clé de peau BEAUTÉ
la crème n

la crème n (refill)

la crème n <refill>

Enriched lip luminizer(lip stick)

Left: Enriched lip luminizer <lip stick>
Right: A refill must be set in the proper holder before use.

Luminizing face enhancer(Highlighters)

Luminizing face enhancer <Highlighters>

3D pouch for clé de peau BEAUTÉ concentré illuminateur lotion and essence

We have begun adopting 3D pouch packs for the containers of the lotion and essence (1 use each) for clé de peau BEAUTÉ (target_blank) concentré illuminateur”, which are used as a set with facial mask, when the product underwent the renewal release in March of 2014.
Compared to the former product, which used small glass containers, the container weight is 1/10, and it has also led to the reduction of waste.
Such environmental considerations and our innovations with the multifaceted design, which embodies clé de peau BEAUTÉ concept of “skin that emanates radiance from within”, as well as the easy opening of the pouch pack were evaluated, and “clé de peau BEAUTÉ concentré illuminateur” received the “Japan Package Design Association Award”, which is one of the top “Japan Star Award”, in the “Japan Packaging Contest 2014”.

clé de peau BEAUTÉ concentré illuminateur

clé de peau BEAUTÉ
concentré illuminateur

Pouch packs for the containers of the lotion and essence

Pouch packs for the containers of
the lotion and essence

Shiseido Reduces Plastic Use by Adopting Paper Exterior Packaging Boxes for the ELIXIR Skincare Series

Shiseido is working to improve the environmental friendliness of its core lines ELIXIR Skincare Series.

As the first initiative, we changed the plastic product outer box to a paper outer box for "ELIXIR SUPERIEUR RETINO VITAL," which was released in September of 2009 as highly functional special care, and "ELIXIR WHITE," which was released in February of 2010. Since then, we have also switched to a paper outer box for "ELIXIR SUPERIEUR" since September of 2010.
Through these initiatives, we were able to reduce a total of approximately 90 tons in plastic usage within 1 year of each product's release.
Since switching to paper outer boxes increased the space to print product information, we have been aiming to enhance the information, such as ingredients, method of use, etc., which consumers themselves can use for reference when choosing products.

We also released refills for lotion and emulsion from "ELIXIR SUPERIEUR" and "ELIXIR WHITE" product lines in September of 2012 as the second initiative.
When consumers use them to refill the product containers, we can reduce approximately 85% (weight ratio) of disposed plastic.

Additionally, ELIXIR WHITE, which was renewed in March of 2016, also continues to use paper exterior package and offer refill products.





Reducing plastic use by making HAKU refills available

Shiseido launched a new "replaceable refill product" in line with the renewal of its HAKU melanofocus CR skin brightening serum in February 2011.

The amount of plastics used to make this refill container is reduced by approximately 60% compared with the amount used for the original product container. Adopting a refill item for this product reduced roughly 19 tons of plastics per year versus manufacturing the original product container only.

In addition to the environmental consideration of saving resources, another main objective of introducing this refill product is closely tied to Shiseido's desire to respond to consumers' feedback, including: "It's such a waste to throw out a wonderful package" or "Please make a container so that you can check how much product remains." Additionally, we have put a lot of ingenuity into the development of a refill container, that consumers can replace as easily as possible.

Moreover, another environmental measure was taken by replacing the exterior plastic packaging with packaging made from bagasse paper (non-wood paper made from fiber after extracting the sugar content from sugarcane), and in turn, curbing the use of petroleum, which is an exhaustible resource, and changing to a sustainable plant-based raw material.

HAKU melanofocus 3D (released in February 2016) continuously adopts these environmentally-friendly containers and packaging.

HAKU melanofocus 3D

Left: HAKU melanofocus 3D
Right: Refill

Using polyethylene produced from sugarcane for SUPER MiLD containers

In September 2011, Shiseido adopted containers made from sugarcane-derived polyethylene for its SUPER MiLD hair care brand. This is the first time this material was used for cosmetics and daily basic goods in Japan.

Incineration of sugarcane-derived polyethylene involves the release of carbon dioxide (CO2), which sugarcanes absorb as they grow, so it can be said that there is no difference in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere when this material is incinerated. Because of this and other reasons, it is said that incineration of sugarcane-derived polyethylene releases over 70% less CO2 than petroleum-derived polyethylene in their life cycles.
Now approximately 96% of the materials used for the SUPER MiLD bottles (both regular and jumbo sizes) and approximately 34% for refill packs, are sugarcane-derived polyethylene and thus CO2 emissions were successfully reduced by approximately 188 tons in the first year after this change was introduced (according to Shiseido’s estimate).

There is another benefit of using sugarcane-derived polyethylene for containers–because this polyethylene is made mostly from residual liquid after refining sugar from the juice of sugarcane, so it can prevent competition between food usage and plastic usage.



the mark

The mark indicates products that use plant-derived plastic, such as sugarcane-derived polyethylene.

Reduction of water usage by developing rinse-aid facial wash

Shiseido incorporates "environmental considerations into product planning in the entire life-cycle". However, products for washing the face and body such as facial wash and shampoo, etc., require the use of water to rinse off, therefore we realize that they also have the biggest environmental load when "using" them in the entire product life-cycle from raw material procurement to use and disposal. In order to reduce water usage at the time of using the products, we developed a new rinse-aid technology and adopted it for the foam facial wash "Senka Speedy Perfect Whip Airy Touch" which was launched in March 2016 as a renewal.
It enabled approximately 35% water usage reduction for rinsing compared to the existing cream-type (tube) facial wash, which means saving water equivalent to approximately 540 two-liter plastic bottles per year (data by Shiseido).


Senka Speedy Perfect Whip Airy Touch

Development of Fullmake Washable Base

"Fullmake Washable Base," which was released in advance via the Shiseido website "watashi+" online shop in December of 2012 and was released via counters in February of 2013, is the world's first (*1) makeup base that enables users to easily remove the makeup, which is applied over the base, only with warm water. Shiseido developed its original technology "Veil Action Polymer," which doesn't blend with cold water but responds only to warm water of 40 above degrees Celsius, and incorporated it into this product for the first time.
Due to the fact that users don't require cleansing agent when using this product, Shiseido calculated the environmental impact reduction rate throughout makeup routine from makeup base to cleanser. Specifically, we tried to calculate the water consumption amount throughout the product’s life cycle by using the water footprint (*2) method by comparing the traditional makeup routine and makeup routine (*3) using this product. As a result, we can reduce approximately 1.6L (*4) in water consumption amount per makeup routine. When you convert this to one bottle (35g) of this product, the calculation shows that we can reduce approximately 90L of water.

Fullmake Washable Base

Fullmake Washable Base

  • *1From the database of Mintel Japan, Inc. (Researched by Shiseido)
  • *2Method that evaluates the water consumption throughout a product's life cycle from raw material procurement to production, usage, disposal, and recycling as well as the environmental/social impact due to it in a quantitative manner. This method targets all water used directly as well as indirectly, including cultivation of plants for raw materials, water used in the course of the product's production process, etc.
  • *3Traditional makeup routine and makeup routine using "Fullmake Washable Base"
Traditional makeup routine
  • *4This calculation result has undergone a third person evaluation by Professor Norihiro Itsubo of the Environmental Studies, Tokyo City University. This value was not derived from comparing the water usage in households of consumers.

Reducing the glass bottle weight and employing labels that are easy to peel off for Pure White W and The Collagen beauty drinks

In 2012, Shiseido reduced the weight of the glass bottles for Pure White W and The Collagen products by about 10 percent because consumers had indicated that they throw out several empty bottles at a time and wanted them to be as light as possible.
We reduced CO2 emissions by about 427 tons for one year (Shiseido's estimate).
Consumers also indicated that they did not want others to know what they were drinking and that they wanted to remove the labels before disposing of the bottles, but the labels were difficult to peel off.
We responded to this feedback by switching to easily removable labels.

Pure White W and The Collagen

Pure White W and The Collagen

An easily removable label

An easily removable label

Shiseido adopts Cartocan eco-friendly paper containers for Kirei no Susume

Kirei no Susume, which was launched by Shiseido on July 21, 2010, is packaged in Cartocan, an environmentally friendly paper beverage container. In addition, we also changed the package of Chou-mei-sou from aluminum can to Cartocan in 2013. Cartocan offers the following features:

(1) Promotion of forestland conservation by using wood from thinning operations
Thinning, a process by which weak trees are cut from crowded forests, is a critical part of developing healthy forests. Cartocan makes extensive use of thinned lumber. In addition, by using over 30% domestic materials, the material promotes the conservation and healthy development of domestic forests. Since those forests absorb CO2 when they grow healthily, the material also helps reduce CO2.
(2) Contribution to the Midori no Bokin (Green Fund)
A portion of sales is donated to the Midori no Bokin (Green Fund) and put to use in the development of forests in Japan.
(3) 100% recyclability
Cartocan can be recycled in the same manner as milk cartons.

Although initially it was difficult to provide Shiseido's desired shelf life with Cartocan, we decided to use the container after our business partners were able to extend its shelf life.

Kirei no Susume

Kirei no Susume



Awafuru Eco Soap for Hotels that is Gentle on the Environment and Skin

In October 2010, Shiseido launched 10g and 18g sizes of Awafuru Eco Soap, a hotel-use soap that is gentle on the environment and skin. Shiseido Amenity Goods Co., Ltd. distributes the soap and handles hotel guestroom amenities and other facilities as well as professional-use cosmetics.

Until now, hotels have had difficulty dealing with soap. Minimal amounts of soap are used in guestrooms at hotels and other facilities during guests' stays and the soap remains are disposed of as industrial waste.

Awafuru Eco Soap (hereinafter, "the product") contains micro air bubbles that cause it to form lather and dissolve quickly for easier consumption. As a result, soap remains are reduced, making it possible to reduce waste significantly. From its practical usage testing, the Shiseido Research Center learned that the volume of remains for disposal of the new type of soap compared with Shiseido conventional soap was about 90% less for the 10g soap bars and about 67% less for the 18g soap bars. According to Shiseido estimate, the product reduced the disposal soap by a total of 12.4 tons for one year. Also, the inclusion of air bubbles helps to reduce not only waste but also the amount of raw materials used by approximately 30% without reducing soap size.

Moreover, the product adopts the "wakuneri" manufacturing method used for premium facial soap rather than the "kikaineri" (machine mixing) manufacturing method generally used for hotel-use soaps. For this reason, while common soaps used at hotels contain no or small amounts of moisturizing ingredients, the new product is formulated so that approximately 30% is comprised of moisturizing ingredients. With rich lather containing plenty of these ingredients, the product provides a luxurious feel that other hotel-use soaps cannot match for washing the face and other parts of the body. (Patent pending for respective technological processes and formula)

The product has both considerable eco appeal and beauty appeal for its gentleness on the environment as well as skin. As a result, Shiseido is already receiving requests from many hotels for introduction of the product.

Awafuru Eco Soap

Awafuru Eco Soap

Contains micro air bubbles

Contains micro air bubbles

Differences between remaining volumes before and after use, comparing Awafuru Eco Soap and Shiseido's conventional products.

Differences between remaining volumes before and after use, comparing Awafuru Eco Soap and Shiseido's conventional products.

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