How L’Oreal is Taking Charge With its Sustainability and Social Initiatives
L’Oreal was founded in 1909 by Eugéne Schuller and has since become the number one cosmetic company in the world
Many brands you see on the cosmetic shelves today are owned by L’Oreal. They own at least 39 beauty related brands, including Garnier, NYX Professional MakeUp, Kiehl’s, Urban Decay, Essie, Redken and Biolage.
The group made their first commitment to sustainability in 2001 by joining the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In 2002, they joined the UN’s Global Compact. Since then, they have made strides and commitments in all areas of environmental and social impacts.
L’Oreal’s sustainability program, titled Sharing Beauty with All, launched in 2013. This program set a series of goals that L’Oreal would like to achieve by 2020. These goals cover all areas of sustainability, from sourcing materials, to product design, the whole supply chain is involved. Sharing Beauty with all has four main sections: Innovating Sustainably, Producing Sustainably, Living Sustainably and Developing Sustainably.
“By the end of 2020, 100% of our products will have an improved environmental or social profile. The Group seeks to innovate sustainably through various initiatives that include reducing the environmental footprint of formulas, respecting biodiversity through a sustainable sourcing policy for raw materials, committing to zero deforestation and using eco-designed packaging.”
All of L’Oreal’s formulas were screened in two years, over 40,000 of them for their environmental impact. These formulas were then divided into categories, and improved environmental benefits were added to each when necessary. Products such as SH-Extra Fresh in China were re-formulated to have a water saving-footprint of more than 80% compared to the average for other shampoos.
A new line, Biotherm were launched in 2017 with a 96% biodegradable formula base and an 80% reduction of its environmental footprint. Raw ingredients such as quinoa and vanilla are now sourced sustainably, among additional commitments to respecting biodiversity and local development.
The last few goals, committing to zero deforestation and eco-designed packaging are still in progress and have yet to be reported on.
“By the end of 2020, L’Oréal will have reduced the environmental footprint of its plants and distribution centres by 60%, from a 2005 baseline. The Group’s key criteria for industrial performance include reducing CO2 emissions in absolute terms, cutting water consumption, reducing waste per unit of finished product, and shrinking the transport footprint.”
Photo above depicts a model of L’Oreal’s entirely carbon neutral factory in Yichang, China.
L’Oreal set an ambitious goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 50% from their plants and distribution centers by 2020. This goal was met in 2015, and a new goal has now been set of a 60% reduction. They are now focusing on deploying renewable energy, plants with carbon neutrality, and innovative and responsible building.
“L’Oréal aims to empower its consumers to make sustainable choices. The Group is pursuing a number of initiatives to achieve this goal: transparently sharing information on the environmental and social impact of its products, assessing the footprint of every brand, raising consumer awareness, and making sustainable development more desirable.”
L’Oreal has designed their own evaluation tool, called SPOT. This tool measures a product’s environmental impact, throughout its entire life cycle. SPOT product assessments will be available on the website soon, allowing customers to see the impact for themselves.
Kiehl’s, owned by L’Oreal, was the first to benefit from SPOT. The “Made for All” body wash was designed using SPOT measuring. The bottle is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, the formula is 100% biodegradable, and 95% of the materials are sourced sustainably, all thanks to SPOT.
“Sharing growth with its internal and external stakeholders is a priority for L’Oréal. The Group fosters access to work through a range of programmes, includes suppliers in its sustainable development commitments, and ensures that its employees around the world benefit from the best social practices.”
L’Oreal aims to employ 100,000 people from underprivileged communities by 2020. In 2018 alone, 63,584 people were granted employment. Under this goal, L’Oreal has also been working to employ and promote inclusion in the workplace for people with disabilities. In 2018, there were 1,177 disabled employees. The group has also been recognized at the DisAbility Awards and by Thomson Reuters for their inclusion in the workplace.
The group has implemented many programs in underprivileged communities in an effort to allow access to work and a safe environment. A recycling program has been introduced to the city of Mumbai, and L’Oreal has recruited over 200 women to pick up recycling to be repurposed. This pilot program will eventually be expanded to other cities and countries.
Women4Climate is an initiative started in 2017 by women, for women. Women make up more than half of the world’s population and are largely the main advocates when it comes to climate change related issues. However, women are not always heard at corporate and government decision making levels, and Women4Climate aims to change this. L’Oreal was one of the founding partners of Women4Climate, and chief executives play a large role in advocating, educating and promoting the organization.
Read more about the Women4Climate Initiative here: https://w4c.org
L’Oreal’s CDP Ratings:
The CDP is a global system that allows companies, cities, states and regions to measure their environmental impact. The CDP encourages their users to make positive change, as it has been proven that companies who take a stand for the environment and join initiatives, through the CDP or not, will have financial performance increased. CDP supports and promotes initiatives like setting science based targets, producing at least 50% fewer CO2 emissions, a commitment to using 100% renewable energy and other similar targets.
To learn more about the CDP: https://www.cdp.net/en
L’Oreal scored an AAA rating from the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), one of only two companies to do so. The CDP measures environmental impact in three categories, climate change, forests and water security. The CDP’s rating of L’Oreal of AAA proves that L’Oreal is a leader of change in all three areas.
L’Oreal is becoming a social and environmental leader and is making great change in all areas of their supply chain. Here at Gallant, we love that companies with influence are standing up for change and bettering the environment as well as the lives of those involved in making the products.
Read more about L’Oreal’s sustainability and social initiatives here: https://www.loreal.com/sustainability
All language in quotes regarding L’Oreal’s four sustainable goals and Sharing Beauty With All was taken directly from their website. The material can be accessed here: https://www.loreal.com/loreal-sharing-beauty-with-all
L’Oréal Group. (2019). Sharing beauty with all - L'Oréal Group. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from https://www.loreal.com/loreal-sharing-beauty-with-all
Gallant shares many of the same like-minded values with L’Oreal. Gallant’s products are made from 100% organic cotton and are Fair Trade Certified. Fair Trade allows us to ensure our workers are paid a living/legal wage, no gender discrimination is practiced, and a premium is given to workers to use personally however they would like. With the use of GOTS certified organic cotton, we are able to promote safe and better livelihoods and reduce our environmental footprint. By producing products that are organic and fair trade, we contribute to social, environmental and economic sustainability.
Gallant specializes in premium organic wholesale tote bags, wholesale cosmetic bags, muslin drawstring bags, aprons and other accessories. If your company or brand is looking to reduce its impact, much like L’Oreal, visit us for all of your sustainable packaging needs.
Visit Gallant International here: https://www.gallantintl.com