Achieving “zero deforestation”

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04/2017 • Updated 02/04/2019

L’Oréal has set very ambitious targets leading to a sustainable transformation of its entire business and value chain. One of these targets is a “Zero Deforestation Policy”, published in 2014.

As part of its policy, the Group pledged that by the end of 2020 at the latest, none of the ingredients and raw materials used in its products could be linked in any way to deforestation. Since 2007, L’Oréal has implemented sustainable sourcing action plans for raw materials that risk being produced as a result of deforestation, such as palm oil, soya oil and wood-fiber based products.

Palm oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil derivatives

L’Oréal purchases less than 370 tonnes of palm oil annually. However, it consumes the equivalent of 71,000 tonnes of palm oil derivatives (from the pulp of the palm’s fruit) and palm kernel oil (the extract of the kernel).

100% of the palm oil sourced by L’Oréal has complied with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards since 2010, following the rigorous Segregated (SG) model, one of the most demanding. Regarding palm oil derivatives, which are also 100% certified since 2012, L’Oréal has increased the proportion of its Mass Balance purchases, achieving 54% by the end of 2018 (compared to 51% in 2017). The remainder is covered by the RSPO Book and Claim model. Furthermore, in 2014, the Group began tracing derivatives all the way back to their source. To date, its research has made it possible to trace 95% of its derivative volumes back to refineries, 85% back to mills and 25% back to plantations.

L’Oréal uses the deforestation risk evaluation tool devised by the NGO Global Forest Watch. All the Group’s direct suppliers are also assessed in line with the Sustainable Palm Index, which was established in 2016 and made available to all industry players in 2017.

To make further progress, in 2018 L’Oréal began developing a new tool to evaluate refineries and crushers (which extract the oil from the nuts) on the basis of their policies, procedures and reporting.

This tool will be available and shared publically by the end of 2019.

Soya oil and its derivatives

In 2018, 98% of soya oil used by L’Oréal (221 tonnes per year, less than 0.001% of global production) and sourced from Brazil has been certified organic or Identity Preserved (IP). The soya oil derivatives used by the Group are largely sourced from zones classified as posing no risk of deforestation.

Wood-fibre based products

Among the materials used by L’Oréal for its packaging, 100% of paper used for product instructions and 99.9% of cardboard for product boxes come from sustainably managed forests (certified according to FSC or PEFC standards). 93% of the paper and cardboard used in POS materials is also certified. L’Oréal also uses other wood-based ingredients, such as cellulose derivatives and certain perfumery ingredients. A 2017 study conducted together with the NGO Rainforest Alliance enabled L’Oréal to lift the risk of deforestation from its principle supplies.

The Group’s ambition and achievements in fighting deforestation have been recognised. In 2018, for the third year running, L’Oréal was awarded an “A” score by CDP, the highest possible level of performance. Elsewhere, in 2018, L’Oréal’s 32 suppliers of paper, palm oil and soy took part in the first edition of the Forest Disclosure Project Supply Chain, a CDP programme.

To learn more