L’Oréal at the third Women4Climate ceremony in Paris

The third Women4Climate ceremony took place last 21 February in Paris, at the invitation of Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris and Head of C40 Cities, following the 2017 and 2018 editions in New York and Mexico.

L’Oréal is a founding member of the Women4Climate initiative, launched in 2017 and led by C40 Cities, which connects 94 of the world’s greatest cities to take bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future. This global mentoring programme aims to support and guide future female leaders across multiple sectors (companies, government, academia, civil society) in developing innovative local projects to reduce the impact of climate change. In 2019, the cities of Sydney, Lisbon, Barcelona, Auckland and Vancouver will launch the first edition of the Women4Climate mentoring programme, while Quito and Montréal will conduct their second edition. Meanwhile, Paris will support the programme for the third year running.

On 21st February, the annual Women4Climate conference united global mayors1, leading figures in the fight against climate change, such as the Indian scientist and activist Vandana Shiva, artists such as the actress Rossy de Palma and the choreographer Bianca Li, and committed business representatives. They took part in round tables and speeches recalling the urgent need for action and the critical role of women in fighting climate change.

Indeed, women are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. Around 80% of climate refugees are women2 and women and girls are more exposed to risk in the event of natural disasters3. By 2050, nearly 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas4, with many living in highly polluted cities. Not only are women more vulnerable to toxicity in the environment than men5, but they also typically nurse children suffering from pollution, a burden that may increase as cities expand and air quality deteriorates.

“We must engage with thousands more of women – female scientists as well as lawyers, women working in the financial industry or in agriculture, economists or activists – in order to empower them to become leaders in their fight against climate change. The Women4Climate programme led by C40 Cities is crucial to achieving this essential objective. Women can and must play a key role in the fight against climate change. It is our responsibility to help and support them.”

Alexandra Palt,
Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer & Executive Vice President of the Fondation L’Oréal.

L’Oréal is a global beauty company whose business depends upon and affects the well-being of millions – particularly women – around the world. Women are essential to L’Oréal business not just as consumers, but as farmers and factory workers, as scientists and executives at every level. At L’Oréal, women lead 60 percent of the Group’s brands. They represent half our board membership, and certainly more than half of our rising young talent. The company’s products are made with ingredients that are harvested by women around the world and whose livelihoods are vulnerable to the changing climate. This has led L’Oréal to make a strong commitment to helping our producers mitigate and adapt to climate change in their production methods. In this respect, L’Oréal is proud to be a founding partner of the C40 Women4Climate initiative, which embodies two of our most important commitments: empowering women and fighting climate change.

1Paris, Bale, Washington, San Francisco, Melbourne, Madrid, Barcelona, New Orleans, Seattle, Warsaw, Durban, Yokohama, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Sydney, Montreal, Roma, Santiago and Stockholm.
2Aguilar, L. (2004) ‘Climate change and disaster mitigation. Gender makes the difference.
3Care International (2017). Suffering in silence: The 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2016.
4Un 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects.
5Butter M. E. (2006) ‘Are Women More Vulnerable to Environmental Pollution?’
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