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Beiersdorf launches initiative to support women and leverage plastic recycling Featured

Published in General Tuesday, 07 November 2023 17:09


~Launched in four countries across the globe, the initiative promotes a circular economy with a target to collect and recycle 15,000 tons of plastic annually in emerging markets while supporting more than 1,600 women with jobs and training opportunities~

Mumbai, 7th November 2023: Beiersdorf is strengthening its CARE BEYOND SKIN Sustainability Agenda with the launch of “Women in Circularity”. This holistic initiative is geared towards providing substantial funding to plastic waste recycling organizations that have a strong social business approach. The initiative has two important objectives: the first is an expansion of the recycling infrastructure of plastic waste management organizations in emerging economies and second is to ensure that the waste collectors, a majority of which are women, receive adequate training and development opportunities. “Women in Circularity” is poised to make a significant environmental impact while fostering a more inclusive society. 

The launch of the initiative involved the selection of organizations with a social impact in regions that have been most affected by the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a comprehensive validation process and on-site visits, four organizations were selected - Green Worms in India, Delterra in Argentina, Recycle Up! Ghana in Ghana, and TakaTaka Solutions in Kenya. The “Women in Circularity” initiative entails a donation of 4 million Euros and is part of Beiersdorf’s COVID-19 Aid Program - the largest global aid program in Beiersdorf’s history, launched in 2020. In close cooperation with public authorities as well as local and international organizations, Beiersdorf aims to help mitigate the negative impacts and aftermath of the pandemic whilst offering income and development opportunities to more than 1,600 women within the waste management sector.

With only 3% of household plastic waste being collected and recycled in Kerala (World Bank Report, 2021), the “Women in Circularity” initiative aims to tackle a dual challenge - plastic pollution and poverty. By creating employment opportunities for the local workforce, the initiative seeks to effectively address this pressing issue. Green Worms, a local waste management association in Kerala, will establish a Material Recovery Facility in Malappuram District by December 2023 and implement a Plastic-waste Recycling Plant in the Kannur District by February 2024, both situated in rural Kerala. This ambitious project is set to provide jobs in waste management to over 500 women from 20 villages. Simultaneously, it will lead to the recovery of 6,000 metric tons of plastic, out of which 2,760 metric tons will be recycled annually. Beyond the significant environmental impact, “Women in Circularity” will elevate the social status of women in the region by offering workshops, scholarships, menstrual hygiene education, regular health check-ups, health insurance and vaccination drives - ensuring a safe work environment. The initiative also establishes a Waste Workers Welfare Fund to enhance economic security for the local community.

Jean-François Pascal, Vice President Corporate Sustainability at Beiersdorf, states, “The global plastic problem has continued to intensify over the years due to the production and disposal of millions of tons of plastic annually, which is very often single-use plastic. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. With our ‘Women in Circularity’ initiative we aim to help mitigate the devasting aftermath of the pandemic on both the environment and on society by creating a lasting impact”.

“Also, the initiative will help increase these organizations’ plastic waste collection and recycling capacity by 15,000 tons of plastic per year by expanding their plastic waste management infrastructure including new recycling plants. The funds will create new jobs and improve working and living conditions of female waste collectors through the provision of training, occupational health and safety, health insurance and expanded immunization services,” comments Beiersdorf’s Luisa Robles Vega, Sustainability Manager Environmental Strategy & Human Rights. 

Explaining the vision, Jabir Karat, CEO - Green Worms, says “During the pandemic, many waste workers, most of whom are women, had no source of income.  They are generally the sole earners in the family. To survive the pandemic, they took loans and now they are back to work and, in addition to feeding their families, are now also repaying their loans. These women are resilient and all they need is access to stable and safe work opportunities. If we can work together on a shared mission with women waste collectors, we can create stories of hope in tackling both plastic pollution and poverty.”

Launched in four countries, this initiative redefines the approach to environmental challenges and women's empowerment within the waste management sector. With an emphasis on inclusivity and circular resources, the initiative contributes to a sustainable future where businesses become catalysts for positive change.

About Beiersdorf AG

Beiersdorf has stood for innovative, high-quality skin care products as well as pioneering skin research for 140 years. Leading international brands such as NIVEA, the world’s no. 1 skin care brand*, Eucerin (dermocosmetics), La Pairie (selective cosmetics), and Hansaplast/Elastoplast (plasters and wound care) are cherished by millions of people around the world day after day. Renowned brands such as Aquaphor, Coppertone, Chantecaille, Labello, 8x4, atrix, Hidrofugal, Maestro, and Florena round off our extensive portfolio in the Consumer Business Segment. Through the wholly owned affiliate tesa SE, Beiersdorf is also a globally leading manufacturer of technical adhesive tapes and provides self-adhesive solutions to industry, craft businesses, and consumers. 


The Hamburg-based company generated sales of €7,627 million as well as an operating result (EBIT) of €933 million in fiscal year 2021. Beiersdorf has more than 20,000 employees worldwide, who are connected by shared core values, a strong corporate culture and the Beiersdorf purpose Care Beyond Skin. With its C.A.R.E.+ business strategy, the company pursues a multi-year investment program focusing on competitive, sustainable growth. The program is consistent with the ambitious sustainability agenda, with which Beiersdorf is generating clear added value for consumers, society, and the environment.

* Source: Euromonitor International Limited; NIVEA by umbrella brand name in the categories Body Care, Face Care, and Hand Care; in retail value terms, 2020.



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