L’Oréal Takes Palm Oil Sustainable Sourcing One Step Beyond

In 2021, L’Oréal consumed less than 310 tonnes of palm oil and 90,003 tonnes of palm oil derivatives (which come from palm fruit pulp) and of palm kernel oil (extracted from palm fruit kernels). These two oils are used to produce glycerine, fatty acids and fatty alcohols which form part of the composition of the Group’s products.

Even though its consumption remains low, representing approximatively 0.1% of worldwide palm production, the Group want to be among the most responsible companies in the world and to lead by example on the issue of palm oil.

Since 2010, 100% of the palm oil it purchases meets the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards, via the Segregated (SG) model, which is one of the most demanding. But the challenge for a company like L’Oréal is the traceability of the supply chain of palm oil derivatives and how to improve the practices within this supply chain.

In 2021, 27% of these volumes were physically connected to sustainable sourcing projects in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Group pursues a threefold innovative approach.

1. Tracing back derivatives to make full transparency:

Concerning the derivatives, which are also 100% certified, L’Oréal had increased the proportion of its physically certified purchases to 98.4% of RSPO Mass Balance at the end of 2021, compared with 95% in 2020 and 70% in 2019 the remainder continues to be covered by the RSPO Book&Claim model.

And the Group decided to go one step further than RSPO certification, in order to ensure a deforestation-free and sustainable palm production. Since 2014, it deployed an unprecedented approach within the oleo-chemicals sector and started to map its entire supply chain and to trace derivatives back to their origin.

Since 2015, L’Oréal has progressively updated and enriched its data collection by extending the scope to cover all suppliers in order to be able to trace and identify the origin of 100% of its main palm and palm kernel derivatives. The results of this work show that Malaysia and Indonesia are the main countries from which supplies are obtained and that, for 2020, 98% of these volumes of palm and palm kernel derivatives could be traced to the refineries,94% to the mills and 50% as far as the plantations.

In 2021, on the basis of this work and with the goal of greater transparency, for the fourth consecutive year, L’Oréal published the list of the 928 mills indirectly connected to its supply chain and representing over 90% of its palm derivative volumes, as well as the list of its direct suppliers of derivatives.

2. Supporting independent smallholders

L’Oréal is also committed to support independent smallholders, who face challenges such as deforestation and difficult living conditions. Through a multi-stakeholder partnership, L’Oréal helps to connect independent smallholders to the market demand for “Zero Deforestation” palm oil, fostering sustainable agricultural practices.

In 2015, in the Beluran district of Malaysia, L’Oréal launched a pilot project called “SPOTS” (Sustainable Palm Oil &Trace ability with Sabah small producers) aimed at supporting 500 independent producers of palm oil by 2020. Find it more here

3. Driving change in the palm sector by transforming purchasing policies.

L’Oréal is committed to respecting internationally recognized human rights everywhere it operates, and throughout its supply chains. The respect of human rights - namely no child labor, no forced or bonded labor of any type, safe working and living conditions as well as the fight against any potential source of discrimination is taken into account in the selection process and the yearly assessment of our suppliers.

Learn More


Back on Top