On 26th September, 2020, Dr. Shirley Yeung (Asia Ambassador, UNPRME Sustainability Mindset Working Group Member) convened the 19th Virtual Seminar on Transformations organized by the Centre for Business/ Social Sustainability and Innovation (BSSI), School of Business, Gratia Christian College (UNPRME Advanced Signatory Institute, HK), supported by World Institute of Sustainable Development Planners (WISDP), an initiative of UNESCO HK Association with speakers from Kenya (Elizabeth Mwangi, Legislator), US (Gene Gurkoff, Founder of Charity Miles) and Hong Kong (William Shum, CEO of Memorigin Tourbillon Watch, HK Brand) with students and teachers from China, Hong Kong, Kenya, Nigeria, S. Africa and the US. This is an innovative seminar as more than 20 secondary school students joined with proactive female leadership of Caritas St. Joseph Secondary School – Principal Cheung and Teacher Chan to support students to learn more on UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) via a global seminar with renowned speakers.
During the seminar, speakers shared their entrepreneurial journey with shared values and community building. A message has been conveyed vividly to the participants that technology is to support community bonding, making people with shared values connected and re-connected under post COVID-19. In fact, new business related to wellness is not only on beauty, yoga, meditation, but also on peripheral services, for example, green labelling, appealing packages and training on application of green technology.
In general, green technology could be defined as set of technologies and/ or processes involving with technologies to produce goods and services for the mankind to benefit from the use of technology, for example, reducing costs, bringing changes, innovations, and making people live happily with an awareness of ecosystem and sustainable development with environment, social and economic impacts.
Based on a recent qualitative study on cosmetics retail by the author with literature search between 2014 and 2020 using the following key words:
“Cosmetics retail” and
- Green Technology
- Personal Care Innovations
- Pricing for Forecast Demand
- Proven Sustainable Performance
- Sustainable Appealing Packaging, fifteen articles were found relevant to her study.
After reviewing the articles, themes similar to some of the above keywords seemed emerged such as green/environmental sustainability, eco-design of cosmetic products, sustainable performance and sustainable packaging. To explore how much the emerged themes were relevant to the articles, a text search with the above 5 keywords was conducted using Nvivo. The results are as follow:
Most of the articles contained the key words. Fifteen articles mentioned personal care innovation with a total of 149 references. Green technology and sustainable appealing packaging appeared in 13 articles with 313 and 729 references respectively. Sustainable appealing packaging was referenced 729 times in 11 articles. Among the keywords, pricing for forecast demand was mentioned the least with 15 references in 6 articles.
Further reviewing on the articles, relationships between the emerged themes were found. There was an association between green technology, personal care innovations, sustainable appealing packaging and sustainable performance in which the three elements contributed to the sustainable performance of cosmetic products. A model on the four themes was developed and shown below:
Figure 1 A Model on Four Themes
The above model has been echoed by the speakers of the seminar in September, 2020 that sustainable performance is well linked up with shared values, humanistic design, innovations, personal care, and good use of technology.
Elizabeth, legislator of Kenya also mentioned that new wellness business is related to the kind of “care” shown to the community, for example:
- Production of face masks and sanitizers;
- Innovation of hand wash equipment;
- Increased demand of Infrared thermometer; and
- Joining the informal sector for employment due to loss of jobs.
Author: Shirley M C Yeung