Our highest priority is to provide safe products that are fully compatible with our consumers’ health and the environment. All our products therefore need to comply with numerous statutory requirements before they can receive official market approval. Both Business Segments apply high standards in this regard.
In this respect, our understanding of quality goes beyond the evaluation and approval of our products. We understand quality as a dynamic process that contributes to continuous improvement and express this understanding in the Beiersdorf Quality Policy. It guides our Executive Board, our management, and all our employees in their daily activities. It also serves to maintain and build on our consumers’ satisfaction and high level of trust, and to ensure that we remain competitive in the future.
Safety evaluation of all raw materials and cosmetic product formulas
To ensure that we meet our own strict requirements regarding the quality of our products, we employ a team of experienced, highly qualified safety assessors. First, this team must perform the legally required evaluation and approval of the raw materials, formulas, packaging materials, and product claims, thereby verifying their safety and compatibility for consumers. Only then do the safety assessors approve the finished products for distribution. This is done primarily in accordance with the internationally recognized rules set in EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 for safety assessment, as well as the requirements of the SCCS Notes of Guidance in their 11th revision from 2021, which are applicable EU-wide. In the interests of consumer protection, the safety assessors work closely with related departments such as Research & Development and Product and Packaging Development.
In addition to experience and expertise, evaluating the safety of cosmetic products requires, above all, scientific exchange and knowledge of new findings regarding the compatibility and safety of raw materials, formulas, and packaging materials. Accordingly, our safety assessors attend international conferences, participate in working groups and expert teams, and also take part in specialist international training courses. The goal of this professional exchange and training is to ensure that we continue to operate appropriately and responsibly in the future. It is also important to us that we hold our external service providers and suppliers, such as perfume and raw material manufacturers, accountable. We require them to certify their compliance with statutory requirements as well as those that go beyond the legally required scope.
Beiersdorf’s global mandatory safety requirements
We have established our detailed safety requirements in the Beiersdorf Product Safety Policy. This policy is globally binding, as we do not differentiate between regions or locations when assessing the safety of raw materials, formulas and products, but set the same standards everywhere. The requirements of the EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 play a particularly important role for us. On the one hand, the EU Cosmetics Regulation governs the qualification of safety assessors and product safety requirements; on the other hand, it also defines the specifications for correct product labeling and for providing information that ensures safe transportation and product handling.
The legal requirements governing the safety of products – viewed on a global level – are constantly changing. We want to preemptively mitigate the risk of violating current regulations, which is why our central Regulatory Affairs team collaborates with an international network of local regulatory affairs officers. They follow all the regulatory requirements and the latest changes to them in the countries in which our products are sold. This way, we ensure that our products meet all the currently applicable requirements for their respective markets as early as the product development stage.
We are resolutely committed to rendering animal testing obsolete worldwide. We are convinced that animal testing is not necessary to prove the skin tolerability and effectiveness of our cosmetic products. For this reason, we do not conduct animal tests for any of our cosmetic products or their ingredients, and do not have animal testing done on our behalf.
In the EU, animal testing has been completely banned for cosmetic products since 2004, and for all the ingredients used in these products since 2013. Beiersdorf complies with these legal requirements and has also long since refrained from animal testing worldwide whenever local laws permitted it. It is our stated goal to advance research to the point when animal testing can be completely abandoned worldwide.
Consumer safety is our top priority. As one of the leading research-based companies, we have been involved in the development and acceptance of alternative testing methods for almost 40 years. In this context, we have been and continue to be instrumental in the development and validation of key methodologies that are internationally recognized by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and major regulatory bodies.
In collaboration with numerous partners and interest groups, we work to ensure that innovative alternative methods are developed and that existing ones are accepted. We are involved in various working groups in the European umbrella organization of the cosmetics industry (Cosmetics Europe), cooperate with the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (EURL ECVAM), and support the OECD by providing scientific findings. We are an active member of the European Society of Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV) and a founding member of the European Partnership for Alternative Approach to Animal Testing (EPAA), an organization established in 2006 by the European Commission that covers seven industry sectors. In addition, Beiersdorf has established partnerships in the field of cutting-edge research, for example in the study of so-called organ chips, which simulate the interaction of several organs.
Even though great progress has already been made, at the present time there still aren’t alternative testing methods available that have been recognized and established by lawmakers for all safety-related issues. As a result, we will also continue to advocate intensively for the development and successful use of alternatives to animal testing.
The quality and safety of our products are crucial to the satisfaction of our customers and thus to our economic success. tesa aims to ensure that our products are high-quality and safe through systematic quality management. If products display safety defects, this can have a negative impact – both on us and the people who use them. We aim to continually make products that satisfy the highest quality and safety requirements.
A systematic approach to quality and safety
tesa wants to design its products and processes to ensure that they fulfill the diverse expectations of our customers and other stakeholders and that no one is harmed during their production or use. Our core goal for product safety is to keep the number of product liability cases to zero. As such, all tesa production sites apply certified management systems in accordance with globally recognized quality norms, standards, and regulations. The compliance of our products, systems, and processes is periodically reviewed and confirmed through both internal and external audits at the relevant locations.
We comply with applicable laws and guidelines. Our internal Product Safety Guideline complement these strict statutory provisions and lay out mandatory measures that enable us to further increase the safety of our products. In addition, they specify the roles and responsibilities of the Product Safety & Conformity Representatives (PSCR). The tesa Product Safety Guidelines apply worldwide and our employees have access to the document via our intranet.
Product safety officers
Every production facility worldwide has a local Product Safety & Conformity Representative (PSCR) who reports to the Corporate PSCR, the central product safety officer. All our PSCRs must complete an external training course that is recognized officially. They usually also act as the sites’ quality officers.
Product safety management is an integral part of quality management at tesa and is co-steered by the Executive Board. The Corporate Regulatory Affairs Department is responsible for evaluating materials and substances. For this purpose, it draws on various chemical databases, evaluates scientific findings, and reviews data on safety-relevant substance properties and the safe handling of substances and mixtures. As a rule, a safety data sheet is available for every product that includes comprehensive safety information – for example, on materials and substances, proper storage and correct handling, as well as recommendations for disposal.
Risk analyses ensure quality
Preventing product defects plays an important role for us, which is why Product Development and Production perform risk assessments or failure mode and effects analyses (FMEA) for every new project. This helps them to identify potential defects in design, production, or even usage directions, such as inaccurate instruction manuals, during the development process. Once products are on the market, our business units continue to monitor them. If the units determine that a new risk analysis and evaluations are necessary, further or new measures are required – leading to the necessary steps to safeguard the health and safety of our customers and employees.
tesa owes its safe product solutions not only to its strict quality requirements, but also to the systematic development of expertise within the company.
The Quality Management Department and PSCRs are responsible for our internal audits. Audits of Product Development and Production are carried out both on an ad hoc and annual basis – and, if necessary, in other departments, such as Marketing. The tesa Group’s production sites were again successfully audited in accordance with globally recognized quality norms and standards during the reporting year. The IATF 16949 certification process pays special attention to the conformity of all products, processes, parts, and services, as well as product safety.