L’Oréal, as a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, is committed to respecting and promoting human rights including throughout our supply chain. This commitment is one of the pillars of our Code of Ethics. Via our Buy & Care program, we seek and favour business partners who comply with our standards.
Mica is a mineral used across various industries, including in the cosmetics industry to a small extent, where it can be used as an effect pigment (between 2% and 10% of total mica usage according to international estimates).
Today, more than 60% of L’Oréal’s natural mica is sourced from the United States while the rest originates from other countries such as India. When technically relevant, we also use synthetic mica as an alternative.
In India, mica mainly originates from socially and economically challenged regions where there is a risk of child labor, unsafe working conditions, and where the supply chain involves multiple actors.
In spite of these challenges, L’Oréal has committed itself to remain in India and ensure the traceability and transparency of its supply chain. We believe that discontinuing the use of Indian mica would further weaken the situation in the region. In addition, local NGOs and expert organisations are supportive of efforts made to secure the mica supply chain and thus improve the living and working conditions in the region.
We have therefore decided to implement a sustainable procurement policy in India based on a limited number of suppliers who have committed to sourcing from legal gated mines only, where working conditions can be closely monitored and human rights respected. They also have to conduct independent audits to ensure such commitments are respected and invest in community-building activities in the areas where they operate to address underlying causes.
In addition, L’Oréal has engaged in collaborative action with stakeholders across industries and along the value chain (from end users to communities), which is essential in order to gain more leverage and achieve long-term solutions. We therefore actively contributed to the Responsible Mica Sourcing Summit, a first of its kind initiative, organised by The Natural Resources Stewardship Circle (NRSC) and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) in February 2016 in Delhi.
Thanks to this strategy, 97% of our mica comes from secured sources today and by the end of 2016, 100% will be secured from completely verified sources.