Today is World Water Day, an opportunity to focus on a critical resource and promote sustainable practices in the realm of water and energy. We are commemorating the day with a look at the impressive conservation efforts going on behind the scenes at Mary Kay.
Mary Kay’s internal focus on environmental initiatives began back in 1989 with a comprehensive corporate recycling program. In 2008, the cosmetics giant launched a global environmental sustainability program under the banner of Pink Doing Green—a nod to Mary Kay’s signature color.
We reached out to Dr. Cristi Gomez, who heads the Pink Doing Green committee, a group of employees that have rallied behind the cause of increased sustainability. According to Gomez, the program has evolved as a sort of grassroots initiative, but one that has always received the support of Mary Kay CEO David Holl.
To move toward greater sustainability, the company first needed to take stock of its current environmental performance. Two years ago Mary Kay corporate began measuring waste production, along with water and energy consumption.
“This year, we really wanted to put a focus on water. It’s something that’s important to us as a cosmetics company,” said Gomez, who serves as Director of Product Safety & Environmental Compliance at Mary Kay. “And being located in Dallas—an area in the midst of severe drought—it hits especially close to home.”
When the company’s U.S. distribution branches realized the volume of water flowing into their operations, they began to implement their own conservation measures. Last year, the branches saved a combined 6.2 million liters of water. In the same period, Mary Kay Canada cut water use by almost 20 percent. “It was not something they were directed to do; it was just the right thing to do,” said Gomez.
While Mary Kay’s water conservation efforts focus on the corporate side, the company has also created programs with the salesforce in mind. For example, consumers can recycle product packaging through Mary Kay’s Caps and Cases program. For every 10 cases returned, the company plants a tree through its partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. Mary Kay has committed more than 1 million trees to planting and reforestation efforts in China, Russia, Mexico, Malaysia and the United States.