All in all, I was very surprised to hear that Head and Shoulders has what seems to be an honest commitment towards sustainability. They stand as the #1 selling shampoo brand, and often companies that are having that much monetary success choose to ignore environmental causes. Through their repeated efforts to optimize their manufacturing process and through their UN awarded clean the beach initiatives, Head and Shoulders has shown that it has a commitment towards being a sustainable company.
The signature head and shoulders bottle is made up of entirely plastic. On the surface, this may sound concerning as it is plastic that is responsible for so much of Earth’s pollution. As one digs deeper, it quickly becomes apparent that Head and Shoulders is sourcing its plastic from a much more sustainable location than many of its competitors. The company has made the wise decision of cultivating much of its plastic through beach pollutants. This is no simple PR claim either, 90% of the bottles sold throughout Europe are made out of these beach plastics. The bottle itself is almost entirely able to be recycled, one must simply remove the cap. While it is not ideal that the entire bottle cannot be recycled, Head and Shoulders has made a pledge to exclusively use a 100% recyclable bottle by the year 2030.
Just as Head and Shoulders has made sustainable materials a priority, it has also placed a focus on making sure that its manufacturing process is environmentally friendly. From 2010 to 2015 the company has succeeded on cutting down manufacturing waste by 85%. Head and Shoulders has additionally looked into sources of renewable energy, and one of their manufacturing centers in China runs entirely on electricity generated by the wind. That being said, there is no getting around the fact that the transportation of this product globally from manufacturing centers in China is heavily dependent on the use of fossil fuels.
Head and Shoulders makes it no secret that they want to be seen as a company that is environmentally conscious. In addition to the pledge for 100% recyclable packaging and powering their manufacturing process with renewable energy, the company has also lead many initiatives to clean up beaches overrun with plastic. In fact, they have even been recognized for their efforts by the United Nations when they were awarded the “Momentum for Change” honor in 2018. To conclude, while there are still some areas of improvement, Head and Shoulders is an example of a large corporation that is taking steps in the right direction towards sustainability.