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Meet Monica Becker, Institute Director of Beauty, Personal Care & Household Products

Monica Becker recently joined the Institute to lead our expanding initiatives in beauty, personal care, household products and packaging. A purpose-driven sustainability expert, Monica has worked with beauty and personal care companies, suppliers and retailers to design and implement collaborative initiatives on sustainable chemistry and circular economy. She previously served as director of collaborative innovation for the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council. Here, Monica shares her thoughts on joining the Institute and the critical role beauty and personal care companies have on making the safe and circular economy a reality.

Why did you decide to join the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute?

I have focused most of my career on accelerating innovation of chemicals, materials, consumer products and manufacturing processes to make safe and regenerative product systems a reality, soo my work in sustainability is deeply aligned with the Institute’s mission to create a positive future powered by materials and products that are safe, circular and responsibly made. Through its multi-attribute framework, the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard is setting a global standard for powering innovation and continuous improvement for companies committed to this journey.

How will your previous work help suppliers, brands and retailers leverage Cradle to Cradle Certified to achieve their own sustainability objectives?

I have spent the past several years working to advance innovation in important ingredient categories within beauty and personal care, including preservatives/biocides, surfactants and alternatives to cyclic silicones. I look forward to drawing on this experience to help companies use Cradle to Cradle Certified as a platform for advancing product and packaging innovation. The launch of Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4 later this year makes this even more exciting as it will drive the design of more regenerative products and packaging.

How can the beauty, personal care and household products sectors help lead the way to a circular economy?

The scale of the cosmetics, personal care and household products sector, as well as the innovativeness and dynamism of companies in this space, creates significant opportunity for advancing safe and sustainable product systems. The clean beauty movement and growing consumer engagement on topics like chemical and product safety, transparency and sustainable packaging give this industry a uniquely powerful platform for driving change all the way from supplier to end-user.

There are great examples of brand leaders using Cradle to Cradle Certified as a solution for guiding and verify their progress in this space. Companies like L’Oreal, GOJO, Method (People Against Dirty), Werner & Mertz, Henry Rose and Bravo Sierra, for instance, are leveraging the program to advance their product and corporate sustainability objectives, from formulations to packaging and beyond.  The more I get to know these companies and discover more about their passion and commitment to the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program, the more motivated I am to bring other companies along on this incredible journey.

There is also a broad scope of opportunity for suppliers to this industry to drive availability of safer ingredients. Whether well-established or new market entrants, suppliers can leverage the Cradle to Cradle Material Health Certification to verify and promote the safety of their safe and innovative  ingredients. I’ll be working closely with suppliers to the industry to help them leverage the certification program in this way.

Similarly, retailers also have a significant opportunity to advance sustainability by using Cradle to Cradle Certified to optimize and verify products under their own brand labels, as well as to actively highlight and promote brands that have invested in certification to their customers.

This industry is making great strides towards improving the material health and responsibility of its products and I am genuinely excited to work with companies across the supply chain to use Cradle to Cradle Certified to accelerate this progress.

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