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L’Oréal’s Reducing the environmental footprint of formulas

By Rusen Kumar

MUMBAI: L’Oréal’s has released its third sustainability report recently. According to the report, by 2020, 100% of L’Oréal’s products will have an improved environmental or social profile. To succeed in this initiative, the Group’s researchers use several drivers, in particular the improvement of the environmental profile of formulas.

The Sharing Beauty With All programme was launched in 2013 first time. Completely integrated in the entire value chain of the Group, which summarises L’Oréal’s commitments in terms of sustainable development by 2020 and addresses all its impacts: from the conception of products to their distribution, including the production process or the sourcing of ingredients.

“When we launched our Sharing Beauty With All programme in 2013, our priority was to act across the entire value chain. At the halfway mark in our 2020 ambitions, L’Oréal has already undertaken an in-depth transformation in order to be able to reach the extremely ambitious targets we have set ourselves.”, said Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in the report.

“A key milestone has now been crossed: we have achieved and even exceeded our target of a – 60% reduction in CO2  emissions, four years ahead of schedule. This is the result of an immense amount of work by all the teams concerned. It also sends out a strong signal: we are continuing to decouple our growth from our environmental impact. While climate change is a major challenge, and we are already seeing its effects on the most vulnerable populations, our commitment is stronger than ever.”, he added.

ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT OF FORMULAS: 27% of new or renovated products have an improved environmental profile thanks to a new formula that has a reduced environmental footprint.

PRODUCT IMPROVEMENT: 82% of new or renovated products have an improved environmental or social profile in 2016*.

Measurement and improvement of the environmental impact of formulas The product life cycle assessments conducted by L’Oréal show that one of the main impacts of products on the environment is linked to the quantity of water used and the quality of the water discharged when the consumer uses the product. L’Oréal’s teams therefore work on improving the environmental profile of the formula in two areas:

  • improvement of their biodegradability, namely their ability to be degraded by micro-organisms present in nature;
  • reduction of their water footprint, which represents the impact of the products on the aquatic

Deployment of a new eco-design tool All the products manufactured by the Group (shampoos, hair care products, styling products, hair colours, shower gels, skin care products, deodorants, sun care products, make-up, perfumes, etc.) were analysed to classify the products according to the benefits offered to consumers. After having defined 143 product categories and screened more than 40,000 formulas between 2014 and 2015, an eco-design tool was created with the aim of improving the environmental profile of the formulas, with an equivalent benefit for the consumer. Rolled out at the start of 2016, this tool is now used by all the teams of formulators. In 2015, L’Oréal increased the average rate of biodegradability of shampoos to 91% (as against 90% in 2014).

Among the new products launched in 2016, some products have levels of biodegradability exceeding 98% in the Group’s different brands, such as, for example, Kérastase Aura Botanica Soin Fondamental or Concentré Essentiel, the shampoos and conditioners of the new Biolage R.A.W. range, the Garnier Ultra Doux 5 Plants shampoo, the Roger & Gallet Aura Mirabilis Ultra-Thin Clean Mask or the Lancôme Absolue Precious Oil.

These improvements in terms of the footprint of formulas, combined with the reduction in water consumption achieved at production level (see page 16), enabled L’Oréal to obtain for the first time a score of “A”, representing the highest level of performance, in the rating of companies with regard to sustainable water management made in 2016 by the CDP (an independent international organisation that evaluates the environmental performance of companies).

* These are either products, namely those for which new formulas have been developed and are being produced for the first time in the Group’s plants, or products for which packaging was renovated in 2016.

Download the report and discover all the results: sharingbeautywithall.loreal.com/results

Discover the digital version of the report and the website: sharingbeautywithall.loreal.com

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