Brussels, 25 May 2022 – As global citizens and players in the life sciences industry, we are concerned about the environmental degradation of our planet and its consequences on our way of life and our health. Around the world, voices are growing louder, urging action now. Everyone – ordinary citizens, businesses, and politicians – has a role to play. On EU Green Week, AESGP is launching its #SustainableSelfCare campaign to show, with inspiring examples, how the self-care industry is working for a healthier society and planet.
Health and the environment are intimately linked, as well depicted in the One Health approach. A clean and healthy environment is essential for healthy societies. By reducing and avoiding the emission of environmental pollutants, we can have a positive and lasting impact on human health, notably through the reduction of respiratory diseases, cancer, mental health problems and minor ailments such as headaches and cough. Everyone has a role to play and we, associations and companies operating in the self-care sector, are committed to doing our part.
A global compass to drive sustainable self-care
In 2021, the Global Self-Care Federation (GSCF) released its Charter for Environmentally Sustainable Self-Care. The Charter aims to reduce the impact of self-care products on the environment in three priority areas where the industry can have the most impact: plastics and packaging, pharmaceuticals in the environment and CO2 footprint.
Co-chaired by AESGP, the Charter is the result of long-term collaborative work. It provides an ambitious platform for all GSCF – and AESGP – members to drive sustainability innovation and share best practices.
“Member companies have already individually embarked on the sustainability journey. With the Charter, we are establishing a platform for sharing good practices and collaboration with the aim of creating collective actions and progressing together”, commented Jurate Svarcaite, AESGP Director General, at the launch of the Charter.
Ambitious commitments, concrete actions
AESGP and its members – self-care products manufacturers and national associations – are taking or have already taken a series of commitments to reduce the environmental impact of their activities while meeting the health needs of people and guaranteeing access to quality self-care products.
To deliver on our commitment to a healthy society and planet, the self-care industry aims to:
- reduce plastics and packaging as much as possible while ensuring the safety and quality of self-care products and striving to design self-care products in a circular way, from conception to end of life.
- reduce the presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment, by promoting the proper use and disposal of medicines (for example, through the support of disposal good practices in Members States and take-back programs, where they exist, and promoting awareness campaigns); improving risk assessments and implementing risk mitigation measures; assessing and minimizing emissions to the environment from manufacturing; and advancing scientific research.
- reduce the carbon footprint of our activities, by adopting emission reduction targets and accelerating our transition to a low-carbon economy.
The #SustainableSelfCare campaign
Every year, the EU Green Week brings together stakeholders from Europe and beyond to discuss how we can foster a greener Europe. This year it focuses on the European Green Deal, the sustainable growth strategy for a resource-efficient and climate-neutral Europe by 2050. An area to which the self-care industry has committed and is ready to improve.
From May 30, AESGP is launching a new campaign on LinkedIn and Twitter under the hashtag #SustainableSelfCare. We will show how the self-care industry works for a healthier society and planet with inspiring examples of good practices and collaboration.
For more information, the initiatives of AESGP and its members can also be consulted on the respective websites.
 Self-care products include medicines available over the counter without prescription (OTC), food supplements including minerals and vitamins, and self-care medical devices.