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L'Oréal Announces Ambitious Sustainability Commitment for 2020

Image credit: L'Oréal

Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L'Oréal, today announced “Sharing Beauty with All,” the cosmetics giant’s ambitious new sustainability commitment to transform its footprint while achieving its business ambition by 2020.

Achieving growth sustainably
Agon says L’Oréal’s ambition is to win one billion new consumers by means of its universalization strategy, which aims to answer all the diverse beauty needs of men and women around the world. Part of the Group’s growth strategy is its commitment to produce more with less impact and to engage consumers, who are at the heart of its business, to make better choices by offering them products that are both environmentally friendly and desirable. Through “Sharing Beauty With All,” L’Oréal commits to improving every part of its value chain, from research to operations, while sharing its growth with the communities it touches.

Jean-Paul Agon, said: “L’Oréal has a strong legacy in sustainability and a thorough ambition for the future. We believe consumers are at the heart of our sustainability drive and we want to reach the next billion consumers while making a positive impact on the world. By accelerating sustainable innovation within our business and harnessing the power of our brands to inform consumers, we will raise awareness about sustainability and encourage consumers to make more sustainable choices.”

These commitments are the result of two years of exchange with various stakeholders throughout the world. L’Oréal will report regularly on its progress against each goal with the help of a panel of independent assessors, chaired by José Maria Figueres, an authority in the world of sustainability, and consisting of international experts*.

“Sharing Beauty With All” is a commitment in four areas:

  1. Innovating sustainably — By 2020, L’Oréal will innovate so that 100% of its products have an environmental or social benefit. Every time we invent or update a product, we will improve its environmental or social profile against at least one of the following criteria:
    • The new formula reduces the environmental footprint.
    • The new formula uses renewable raw materials that are sustainably sourced or raw materials derived from green chemistry.
    • The new packaging has an improved environmental profile.
    • The new product has a positive social impact.
  2. Producing sustainably — By 2020, we will reduce our environmental footprint by 60% whilst bringing beauty to one billion new consumers.
    • We will reduce CO2 emissions at our plants and distribution centers by 60% in absolute terms, from a 2005 baseline.
    • We will reduce our water consumption by 60% per finished product unit, from a 2005 baseline.
    • We will reduce waste by 60% per finished product unit, from a 2005 baseline.
    • We will send zero waste to landfill.
    • We will reduce our CO2 emissions from transportation of products by 20% per finished product unit from a 2011 baseline.
  3. Living sustainably — By 2020, we will empower every L’Oréal consumer to make sustainable consumption choices while enhancing the beauty of the planet.
    • We will use a product assessment tool to evaluate the environmental and social profile of all new products, and all brands will make this information available to allow consumers to make sustainable lifestyle choices.
    • All L’Oréal brands will assess where they have the biggest environmental and social impact and make commitments to improve their footprint. Every brand will report on its progress and raise awareness among consumers about sustainable lifestyle choices.
    • Our consumers will be able to influence our sustainability actions through our consumer sustainability panel.
  4. Developing sustainably
    1. Employees: By 2020, L'Oréal employees will have access to health care, social protection and training, wherever they are in the world.
      • We will provide health coverage for employees, which is aligned with the best practice of the country they are based in.
      • We will provide financial protection for all employees if unexpected life events such as incapacity or permanent disability, occur.
      • Every L'Oréal employee will have access to at least one training per year wherever they are in the world.
    2. Suppliers: By 2020, 100% of our strategic suppliers will be participating in our supplier sustainability program.
      • All strategic suppliers will be evaluated and selected on social and environmental performance.
      • All strategic suppliers will have completed a self-assessment of their sustainability policy with our support.
      • All suppliers will have access to L’Oréal training tools to improve their sustainability policies.
      • 20% of strategic suppliers will be associated with our solidarity sourcing program.
    3. Communities: By 2020, we will enable more than 100,000 people from underprivileged communities, equivalent to the size of our global workforce, to access work.
      • We will achieve our goal through programmes in the following areas:
        • Solidarity sourcing
        • Inclusive distribution
        • Beauty professionalization
        • Mentoring and community education
        • Employment of disabled people and under-represented socio-ethnic groups

    *Our panel of experts:

    • Sze Ping, environmentalist, executive director of Greenovation Hub
    • Mehjabeen Abidi-Habib, researcher in human ecology, specialist of natural resources management
    • HRH Celenhle Dlamini,  director at Ubuntu Institute
    • Zem Joaquin, eco-luxury specialist and founder of Ecofabulous
    • Analisa Balares, founder and CEO of WomensphereTM
    • Christian de Boisredon,  promoting the concept of “impact journalism” through Sparknews

    In December of last year, L’Oréal USA partnered with Forum for the Future to convene some of the brightest and the best in the brand and sustainability world, in a safe, pre-competitive space, to try and identify practical approaches and solutions to re:imagine consumption and how to place current consumption patterns onto a sustainable trajectory. Highlights from the meeting can be found in the Synthesis Report and a video summarizing the day.


Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor at Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]


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