Pierre Fabre Oral Care, a socially responsible brand
In line with the Pierre Fabre Group’s business development model, Pierre Fabre Oral Care operates within an ethical framework of corporate social responsibility in accordance with its values and in response to the challenges facing society. This approach mainly focuses on research and development, safety, eco-design and stakeholder involvement.
Corporate social responsibility, a priority for the Pierre Fabre Group
Social responsibility is central the Pierre Fabre Group’s business development model. The Group’s unique shareholder system guarantees its integrity in this respect: the Group’s majority shareholder is the Pierre Fabre Foundation, a recognised public-interest foundation. The CSR approach (corporate social responsibility) is in keeping with ISO 26000, the international standard developed by the independent standardisation body, AFNOR Certification.
The Group was certified ‘exemplary’ according to this standard in 2015.
It safeguards the quality of its products and consumer safety through a capacity for innovation, active dialogue with health care professionals, pharmaceutical diligence and over 45 years of experience.
Innovating through research and development (R&D)
The health care industry is dynamic and constantly changing, so we conduct most of the research and development for our new products ourselves. Our laboratory in Toulouse is the setting where our R&D skills are put to use. Our work focuses on two main objectives:
- Diversifying our ranges to include products that patients with specific physiological or pathological conditions can easily use every day. In particular, we offer solutions to facilitate the daily lives of those suffering from debilitating conditions. The INAVA SYSTEM toothbrush, for example, has a reusable ergonomic foam handle for people with a poor grip.
- Optimising formulations by reducing or removing controversial ingredients and enhancing the effectiveness of our products. Cosmetic ELGYDIUM toothpastes that currently contain parabens are now being reformulated with sodium propionate or other substitutes.
Guaranteeing the safety and quality of our products
A high-quality manufacturing process means strictly controlling the sources of raw materials. For synthetic materials, we have developed a monitoring protocol covering, in particular, the manufacturing location and certifying compliance with European standards. For natural raw materials, we prioritise European supplies whenever possible. Our cosmetic ELGYDIUM toothpastes (Elgydium Kids Tooth Decay Protection range, Elgydium Junior Tooth Decay Protection, Elgydium Whitening mint and Elgydium Whitening cool lemon) have been certified by AFNOR with the French Origin Guaranteed label. Other products, such as the ELGYDIUM mouthwashes, are in the process of being certified.
Eco-design and recycling
The environmental impact of a product is taken into consideration from the first stages of design to the end of the life cycle. We apply the principles of green chemistry where possible, by eliminating or reducing substances that can be harmful to humans and the environment. Life-cycle analyses are now underway for products in the ELGYDIUM cosmetic range.
We are targeting three areas:
- Prioritising research into natural plant-based active ingredients.
- Following the BEPF* approach (Botanical Expertise Pierre Fabre: a certified process for responsible development of innovative, safe and effective plant-based active ingredients) when developing plant extracts. This is already the case for 70% of the plant extracts used in our products.
REDUCING THE ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT OF OUR MANUFACTURING PROCESS
- Pursuing our continuous improvement plan at our manufacturing site in Gaillac. This site, which produces Pierre Fabre’s patented amine fluoride called Fluorinol®, is OHSAS-18001 certified for occupational hazard prevention and ISO-14001 certified for environmental impact management.
LESS PACKAGING AND MORE RECYCLED MATERIALS
- In line with our eco-design approach and digging deeper when choosing our suppliers. In 2014, for example, we saved 24 tonnes of plastic with the eco-design for the ELGYDIUM CLINIC toothbrush.
Reaching out to professionals and the public
The awareness-raising tools and training material that Pierre Fabre Oral Care produces for health care professionals are developed in partnership with learned societies in oral medicine. We share the same aim of promoting good oral hygiene habits from the earliest age.
The ‘Social Dental Bus’ in France
The ‘Bus social dentaire’ (social dental bus) has been providing the disadvantaged with dental products and care since 1996, primarily in the Paris Metropolitan Region. The operation aims to promote and encourage access to dental care for the least fortunate, inform them of their social rights and assist them with administrative formalities. The bus is used for donating oral hygiene products as well as basic education material on good habits. Between 2100 and 2600 patients are treated every year by the Social Dental Bus and more than 3000 Pierre Fabre Oral Care products have been distributed.
Raising awareness alongside health care professionals
Every six months we edit a scientific journal comprising a selection of recent publications on a specific topic. It is a way for dentists to easily access the latest news and encourages continuing education. To help them educate young children on oral hygiene, we offer educational kits containing brochures, toothpaste samples and toothbrushes. We also provide them with tutorial videos to teach correct brushing, giving them a fun tool to support their advice.
Sharing good habits with our consumers
Teaching the right actions begins with the parents. To make our educational tools accessible, we have created fun material that can be used at home, such as a brushing tracker and advice sheets. Everyone, in accordance with their physiological or pathological condition, can find the most suitable products through the advice in our brochures, such as the ELGYDIUM or ELGYDIUM CLINIC brochures that are available from pharmacies or health and beauty stores. The best everyday habits can also benefit our environment, which is why we are developing a campaign to ‘reduce your environmental footprint in the bathroom’. In particular, the campaign will create material dedicated to best practice for recycling packaging.
Working in schools
In Bulgaria, Pierre Fabre Oral Care has helped to educate more than 40,000 children about oral hygiene and health. Similar actions have been conducted in nursery schools in Singapore and Greece with the educational event, Elgydium Playland.
A toothbrush recycling campaign
In 2016 we launched a recycling campaign in pharmacies to promote best practice amongst our partners and consumers and reduce our environmental footprint together. In partnership with TerraCycle, a private recycling company, we will invite consumers to return their used ELGYDIUM & INAVA toothbrushes to their pharmacy and in exchange, receive a discount coupon to buy a new toothbrush. Our objective: 60,000 toothbrushes recycled by TerraCycle and on Pierre Fabre sites.
“Oral health contributes directly to healthy ageing, is a social determinant of health and can influence the development of chronic diseases. To address the challenges, our business has two main responsibilities: consumer safety and innovation to provide expert solutions now and in the future.”
Emmanuel Savi, Pierre Fabre Oral Care Brand CEO