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loreal paris sustainability

Today, L’Oréal Paris announced its sustainability program, “L’Oréal For the Future, Because our Planet is Worth it”, which aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% per finished product. It will also contribute 10 million Euros to environmental projects whose beneficiaries are communities of women around the world.

Delphine Viguier-Hovasse, Loreal’s Global Brand President said that now is the time to reconcile innovation, sustainability and progress, to make the shift to a circular economy and to reduce the impact of products. “We are not starting from scratch. Between 2005 and 2020, our factories and distribution centres have already reduced CO2 emissions by 82%, water consumption by 44%, and waste generation by 35%. There is still much work to be done but we will remain strong in our resolve to make a difference and play our part in this race against climate change. L’Oréal Paris has a significant role to play being the number one beauty brand of the world, it gives us the power and the duty to make positive changes.”

Here are some of the plans that LOreal is setting in place to reach their sustainability goal:

Reducing the weight of products

To help conserve natural resources and reduce the carbon footprint of products, the brand is working to reduce the weight of packaging. For example, it lowered the weight of the aluminium used in the L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Carbon Protect Aerosol by -5.1 grams per bottle, representing 135 tons of aluminium saved annually. Also, by reducing the weight of the Revitalift jar, L’Oréal Paris reduced the use of glass for this product by 11 grams per jar, saving 434 tons of glass annually. Furthermore, the weight of boxes and instructions for hair colour ranges have been reduced, representing an important saving of paper every year. By 2030, the brand will reduce by 20% in intensity the quantity of packaging. This economy of materials represents a significate optimization of weight and space in transport, contributing to reduce carbon emissions due to transportation.

Using 100% recycled plastic

L’Oréal Paris is working on a strategy where materials are kept in use for as long as possible, by optimizing packaging recyclability, striving to conserve resources and prevent plastic pollution. This includes using more recycled content in packaging, with the objective of reaching 100% recycled or biobased plastic by 2030 (or 0 virgin plastic).

Embodying change: Elvive

Since 2020, the iconic L’Oréal Paris haircare range, Elvive, has undertaken a major transformation by targeting 100% recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) for shampoo and conditioner bottles in Europe.

Engaging consumers

L’Oréal will join the LOOP initiative and take part in a project to trial new types of durable packaging. The new shampoo and conditioner packaging will be made of aluminium, and sold with a deposit, on the retailer’s website. After using the products, consumers will be able to return the packaging to the retailer that will collect and return the packaging to L’Oréal Paris for cleaning and refining. How cool?!

Improving formulas

To reduce its environmental impact, the brand is improving the biodegradability of their formulas and reducing their water footprint. Among the products launched in 2019, Elvive Full Resist Power Mask and Men Expert Shaving Barber Club Crème de Rasage have levels of biodegradability exceeding 94% (97% and 94% respectively).

To address a more conscious use of water during the use phase (which represents 50% of the CO2 footprint of the brand, linked with heating the water for rinsing products) and help reduce the time needed in the shower, the brand also develops formulas that need less water to be rinsed (e.g. More than Shampoo), as well as new beauty routines that require less rinsing steps (two-in-one products or non-rinse haircare treatments such as Dream Lengths Management).

Producing sustainably

L’Oréal Paris factories continue their ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions, water consumption and waste generation. Between 2005 and 2020, L’Oréal Paris factories and distribution centres have reduced CO2 emissions by 82%, water consumption by 44%, and waste generation by 35%.

Today L’Oréal Paris products are made in 26 factories around the world. Eleven of them are already carbon neutral (using 100% renewable energy, without offsetting) and the rest will reach this goal in 2025.

Investing in environmental projects through programs that empower women

As women are the primary victims of climate change, L’Oréal Paris will invest €10 million in a series of 6 carbon projects whose beneficiaries are communities of women around the world. Along with financial support, L’Oréal Paris will also develop specific programs that encourage greater inclusion of women in leadership of these projects. In Honduras for example, where local indigenous communities protect and restore mangroves, the brand will support a project managed by a cooperative of women who will receive support and education. 

What do you think of Loreal’s new sustainability program? It’s great to see big brands prioritising sustainability. Drop you thoughts in the comment section below or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

Robyn is the plant mom behind all these juicy posts, written from a sofa in her Cape Town apartment. Through her passion for beauty and wellness, she helps women feel confident in their skin and has created a resource for holistic beauty in South Africa.

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