06/2016 • Updated 19/04/2018
Since 2007, L’Oréal has implemented a responsible packaging policy based on three pillars, known as the “three Rs”: Respect, Reduce and Replace. The Group uses a global, systematic eco-design process, ahead of product design, for the packaging of finished products and also for packaging used during transport. L’Oréal extended this process to include point-of- sale (POS) advertising materials in 2015. It systematically analyses the environmental profile of its packaging in order to identify opportunities for improvement.
Respecting the environment
For its paper, cardboard and wood-fibre based packaging, the Group has set itself a target of using only materials from responsibly managed forests where biodiversity is protected. In 2017, 97% of the paper used for product use instructions, 100% of the cardboard used for product boxes and 89% of the paper and cardboard used in POS was certified (FSC or PEFC).
L’Oréal has also made a commitment to no longer produce finished products containing PVC by 1st January 2018. To date, the use of PVC represents only 0.007% of the plastic used by the Group (not including recent acquisitions).
Reducing and optimising resources
Developing packaging of an optimal size and weight with fewer resources represents another major opportunity to drive improvement. The Group saved 5,092 tonnes of packaging materials between 2008 and the end of 2017 through reduction initiatives at source and lightweighting efforts. L’Oréal is also working to reduce its resource consumption through large-format or refillable packaging.
Replacing materials with more sustainable alternatives
L’Oréal replaces conventional materials with alternatives from recycled or renewable sources (recycled or biosourced materials) at every possible opportunity. In 2017, the Group replaced virgin materials with 7,294 tonnes of recycled materials (PCR), an increase of 10% on 2016. This progress results primarily from its efforts to integrate recycled materials within the plastic component of its packaging, with a 33% increase compared to the previous year. For example, the Redken, Kiehl’s and Pureology brands all brought shampoos to market in 2017 packaged in 250ml bottles made from 100% recycled plastic.
With a strong commitment to developing innovative solutions for plastics recycling, L’Oréal also signed an agreement with Carbios in 2017 to co-create a consortium to industrialise the bio-recycling technology designed and developed by Carbios.