A low-emissions congress in Seoul
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The 22nd World Congress of Dermatology, which was held in Seoul in May 2011, was an opportunity for the group to showcase its ecological and socially responsible values. On the programme: carbon footprint and award ceremony.

The 22nd World Congress of Dermatology in Seoul

With total emissions of 1,600 tons of CO2 equivalent for the 2011 Congress, L’Oréal reduced its carbon emissions by 40% compared to the 2007 edition of the Congress (estimated at 2,600 tons of CO2 equivalent).

Less significant but nonetheless noteworthy, carbon emissions from the stands also decreased in 2011, even though the surface area was equivalent to that of the 2007 L’Oréal Village. They dropped from 290 tons of CO2 equivalent in 2007 to 210 tons in 2011, due in particular to stands that had been made so they could be reused for other events. Furthermore, lower energy and - most importantly - renewable equipment was used (for lighting for example), which lowered total emissions.

Lastly, communication-related emissions were cut in half between 2007 and 2011 on account of a significant decrease in the amounts of samples and objects produced: there was around 1 ton of documentation in 2011 versus 6.5 tons in 2007; 4.5 tons of promotional objects in 2011 versus 10 tons in 2007; and 6 tons of samples in 2011 versus 12 tons in 2007.


The Congress was also an ideal opportunity for the group to once again demonstrate its total attachment to environmental values, with a completely eco-designed 10,000 square metre metres L’Oréal Village. To remain true to its aim of reducing CO2 emissions, after the event, L’Oréal calculated the carbon footprint of all of the activities related to the World Congress of Dermatology: food, communication, venue and decorations, transport for people and goods, and accommodation. The idea of course was to compare these results with the carbon footprint from the last Congress in 2007. The next step will be to set progress objectives for the next Congress which is scheduled to take place in Vancouver in 2015.


The Congress of Dermatology was a unique opportunity to present new scientific breakthroughs in skin pigmentation and ageing and establish new ties with no less than 8,000 professionals at L’Oréal's stands and in its scientific symposiums.

L’Oréal played a central role in this event. By presenting the First Awards for Social Responsibility in Dermatology, the high point of the Congress, L’Oréal wanted to further demonstrate its commitment to promoting projects that strictly benefit patients. Five winners therefore received grants of $15,000 to help them continue developing their project in the areas of education, healthcare access, social integration and the training of healthcare professionals.


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The figures are clear. The carbon reduction actions that were adopted further to the 2007 Congress bore their fruit. Most importantly, thanks to the 2011 assessment, L’Oréal was able to identify areas in which progress still needs to be made for 2015, such as entertainment for the L’Oréal evening, to further reduce its carbon footprint. Specific specifications will be drafted and upstream work will be undertaken with the 2015 World Congress of Dermatology team to prepare an event that is even more environmentally friendly..

Key Figures

  • 40 % reduction in CO2 emissions compared with 2007
  • 6.5 times less documentation printed out than in 2007


Although L’Oréal's overall carbon footprint at the World Congress of Dermatology in Seoul was a success, it also identified items with stagnant results, such as evening entertainment and snacks, which had not significantly improved since 2007. Most importantly, it allowed the company to focus its efforts on items whose emissions had increased between the 2007 and 2011 editions, such as food service and accommodation, which rose from 85 tons of CO2 equivalent in 2007 to 90 tons in 2011.

The reason for this increase? Whereas Food decreased thanks to the use of meals made with sustainable materials and local seasonal products, the carbon footprint of Hotel Energy sharply increased. This was particularly due to the energy mix of South Korea in 2011, which naturally had a higher impact than that of Argentina in 2007. Not to mention that the number of nights spent in hotels was much higher in 2011...

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