L’Oréal Group Reveals its New Sustainability Targets for 2030
L’Oréal unveiled its new sustainability program “L’Oréal for the future”, laying down the Group’s latest set of goals for 2030.
— By Ritoo Jhha
In 2013, L’Oréal had launched its global sustainable development program – Sharing Beauty with All. The core of this program was powered by an innovative tool known as SPOT (for Sustainable Product Optimization Tool), made to assess and improve the environmental and social performance of products across all brands – sustainability assessed by carbon footprint (carb emissions), sustainable water consumption, preservation of forests and biodiversity amongst others.
Sustainability is now fully integrated into the design process of the Group’s new products, from the earliest stages. In the context of growing environmental and social challenges, L’Oréal is accelerating its transformation towards a model respecting planetary boundaries and reinforcing its commitments to both sustainability and inclusion:
Transforming L’Oréal’s business to respect the planet’s limits:
- By 2025, all of L’Oréal’s sites will have achieved carbon neutrality by improving energy efficiency and using 100% renewable energy;
- By 2030, 100% of the plastics used in L’Oréal’s products’ packaging will be either from recycled or bio-based sources;
- By 2030, L’Oréal will reduce by 50% per finished product, compared to 2016, its entire greenhouse gas emissions.
The concept of “planetary boundaries” was defined in 2009 by a group of Earth system and environmental scientists, led by the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Australian National University. These are limits, which, if crossed, will compromise the Earth’s capacity as a habitat for human development. Respecting a safe operating space for humanity must be a priority in the decades to come, as scientists unanimously agree1, which is why L’Oréal aims to transition to a way of operating its entire business within the limits of the planet.
Therefore, the Group has defined new quantifiable targets for 2030, to fight climate change as supported by the “Science-Based Targets” initiative2, but is also going one step further by addressing three other major environmental issues: preservation of biodiversity, sustainable water management and circular use of resources. To ensure its business is respectful of a resource-limited planet, and fair for the communities it works with, L’Oréal will not only continue to reduce its direct environmental impacts, but also reduce the impacts of its entire activity including those of its suppliers and consumers.
“Over the past decade, we have profoundly transformed our company, putting sustainability at the very core of our business model. With our new commitments, we are entering a new phase of acceleration of that transformation: going beyond our direct environmental impact, helping consumers to make more sustainable choices, as well as generating positive social and environmental contribution. As an industry leader, we consider that it is our role to contribute to building an inclusive and sustainable society”, said Alexandra Palt – L’Oréal Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer.
Empowering L’Oréal’s consumers:
To help its 1.5 billion consumers make more sustainable choices, L’Oréal has developed a ProductEnvironmental & Social Impact Labelling mechanism. The labelling will include a score on a scale from A to E, with an “A” product considered as “best in class” in terms of environmental impacts. The method was endorsed by independent scientific experts and data have been verified by Bureau
Veritas Certification, an independent auditor. The labels and scores will be accessible on products’ web pages. The first brand to implement the new methodology as of 2020 is Garnier for its hair care products, third beauty brand worldwide and leader of the market in France. This labelling will progressively be extended to other countries, L’Oréal’s brands and product categories.
The purpose is to contribute to solving the world’s challenges by supporting urgent social and environmental needs, through an unprecedented plan launched in May 2020:
- L’Oréal is allocating €150 million to address urgent social and environmental issues.
“L’Oréal’s sustainable revolution is entering a new era. The challenges the planet is facing are unprecedented, and it is essential to accelerate our efforts to preserve a safe operating space for humanity. We do so in our own business operations and in our contribution to the society at large. We know that the biggest challenges remain to come and L’Oréal will stay faithful to its ambition: operate within the limits of the planet”, said Jean-Paul Agon – Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal. On the question of profitability vis-à-vis sustainability, he emphasized, “Sustainability is everything we do at L’Oréal – the new way we do research, packaging, distribution – each step is lead by the underlying philosophy of sustainability. We do not calculate for this purpose. However, in the course of the last decade or more, we have very clearly understood that it is not detrimental to L’Oréal profitability.”
L’Oréal is engaging €100 million into impact investing, in order to act upon key environmental challenges. €50 million will be used to finance damaged natural marine and forest ecosystems restoration projects through a fund called the L’Oréal Fund for Nature Regeneration, to be operated by Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, dedicated to impact investing.
Another €50 million will be directed to financing projects linked to the circular economy.
To help vulnerable women, L’Oréal is also creating a €50 million charitable endowment fund. It will support field organizations and local charities in their efforts to fight poverty, help women achieve social and professional integration, provide emergency assistance to refugee and disabled women, prevent violence against women, and support victims.
On introducing more natural and organic Brands:
Adrien Koskas – Global Brand President of Garnier, says “Garnier will continue to add more and more products from natural and certified organic sources. We will continue to push naturality whilst ensuring product performance”
Adds Jean-Paul Agon, “Garnier is leading the way- all Loreal brands will be following the same route. 95% of all raw material to be used at L’Oréal will be from natural and renewable resources means that it will be for every brand. Starting with Garnier, Lancome, La Roche Posay etc.”