Sephora is a French multinational retailer of personal care and beauty products. Featuring nearly 3,000 brands, along with its own private label, Sephora Collection, Sephora offers beauty products including cosmetics, skincare, body, fragrance, nail color, beauty tools, body lotions and haircare.

Ethically Alternatives

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Energy and Climate Change


Environment Policy and Reporting


Resource Management


Sephora aspires to make a positive social and environmental impact through their Sephora Stands platform. The environmental sustainability efforts focus on strategies for suppliers, climate, and ecodesign.  The company established the ecodesign pillar because reducing waste and using sustainable materials are a priority. 

To make progress in ecodesign, Sephora North America looked to better understand its improvement opportunities.  Pure Strategies helped the company develop a baseline for packaging and in-store materials and waste, understand materials usage and environmental impacts across different business activities, and recommended next steps.

Packaging, distribution, and store material data was collected from internal business leads and suppliers, through a series of one-on-one conversations and a formal data request.  Engaging these stakeholders was key to not just getting the information for the project, but to also build their interest and alignment on the outcomes of the work since they would be involved in taking actions to make improvements. A detailed inventory of the types and amounts of materials for packaging (product and distribution) and store materials was developed.  This was coupled with life cycle assessment and literature data to understand environmental hotspots and overall priorities.   

Packaging rose up to be the primary source of materials for the business, so the company developed an internal guide with the aim of reducing extra packaging, increasing the amount of packaging that is made from recycled content and/or materials sourced more sustainably, and having it be recyclable. Further, the combination of cardboard and paper-based packaging and store items caused tree fiber to be the largest volume material and sustainable fiber sourcing a clear strategy to advance.  Sephora’s shopping bags include post-consumer recycled fiber and the company is integrating sustainable fiber sources into other parts of the business.  Source

Social Responsibility

Community Development and Philanthropy




Human Rights and Supply Chain Management


Compensation and Benefits


Diversity and Labor Rights


Training, Health and Safety


Sephora, the leading global prestige beauty retailer, is expanding its Sephora STANDS initiative in 2017 after surpassing key objectives in its first year. Sephora STANDS is the company’s broad social impact strategy to inspire confidence and fearlessness among women. Through this platform, SEPHORA puts its values to work for the greater good with three core programs designed to address the needs of entrepreneurs (Sephora Accelerate), local communities (Classes for Confidence), and Sephora employees (Sephora Stands Together).  Today, the company announced an open application process for the Sephora Accelerate program for beauty businesses in two categories: sustainability and technology; applications from product merchandising businesses remain invite-only. As well, later this spring Sephora will introduce a new nationwide Classes for Confidence experience, Brave Beauty in the Face of Cancer, designed to support those living with cancer. 

Even in the beauty industry, where most customers are women, female founders are underrepresented. Sephora Accelerate is SEPHORA’s commitment to encourage female founders in the beauty industry. Through an intensive bootcamp and more than six months of mentorship, founders join an ecosystem of support and are offered insight, instruction and access to the relevant networks to take their early–stage business to the next level and help design the future of beauty. In 2017, Sephora Accelerate is instituting an open application for technology and sustainability businesses relevant to the beauty industry.

The goal of SEPHORA Accelerate is, by 2020, to support more than 50 women-led beauty businesses with a social impact through bootcamps, mentorship, and small loans. Source




Leadership Ethics




Sephora had been conducting customer and employee experience surveys for a number of years, however, this data was gathered separately in the past.

This was the case until Sephora’s leadership team had a breakthrough moment in which it became clear the customer experience and the employee experience were inextricably linked.

“Key to understanding both types of experiences was in realising the one thing customers and employees had in common was their humanity,” said Smith, who explained that Sephora’s culture and approach is driven by the belief beauty is for each person to define and celebrate.

Sustainability News Feed

Sephora advancing sustainable sourcing and waste reduction … › case-study › sephora-advancing-su…

Sephora aspires to make a positive social and environmental impact through their Sephora Stands platform. The environmental sustainability efforts focus on …

‘Sustainability is front and center’: What Sephora’s Accelerate … › beauty › sustainability-is-front-and-ce…

Sep 30, 2019 — Since its creation in 2015, Sephora’s Accelerate program has given the retailer a front-row seat to emerging beauty trends. Sephora hosts the …

Sephora: Combining Beauty and Sustainability – Technology … › Home › Submissions

Nov 15, 2017 — In the long term, Sephora plans to expand on their existing sustainability initiatives through a series of partnerships. They recently launched a …

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