Low carbon growth : a major step forward

Climate change is a pressing issue, and the repercussions of this upheaval, particularly on the most vulnerable, require urgent action. With a commitment to making a profound transformation toward a low-carbon business model, the L’Oréal Group aims to play a catalysing role, in order to contribute actively to addressing this major challenge facing the world.

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04/2016 • Updated 19/04/2018

CO2 emissions reduction: a global strategy

To reduce its carbon footprint, L’Oréal is taking a two-pronged approach. Firstly, the Group has reduced the emissions of its industrial sites by 73% compared to 2005 by lowering the greenhouse gas emissions of its plants and distribution centres, using renewable energy and improving its energy efficiency. In the same period, its production volume increased by 33%, which confirms L’Oréal’s ability to combine commercial success with its commitment to ambitious climate action.

In order to further strengthen its environmental performance, the Group has also forged a partnership with Suez to develop innovative technologies and solutions for all L’Oréal’s industrial, administrative and research sites worldwide. By the end of 2017, 24 L’Oréal sites had already achieved carbon neutrality.

Additionally, L’Oréal has committed to balance the residual emissions linked to its industrial and logistics activities by 2020 through carbon savings generated within its sustainable sourcing activities. In partnership with its suppliers, NGOs or local experts, the Group develops projects designed to improve producers’ lives, preserve biodiversity and capture or avoid carbon emissions in three ways:

  • improving energy efficiency;
  • promoting low-carbon farming practices, including agro-forestry;
  • managing forests sustainably

Launched in 2015, this innovative programme, called Carbon Balanced, covers L’Oréal’s sites’ Scope 1 and 2 emissions (meaning the emissions arising from all the Group’s sites), together with the Scope 3 emissions linked to the downstream transport of its products (approximately 400,000 tonnes of CO2 annually). In 2017, this enabled the Group to prevent the emission of 45,291 tonnes of CO2
equivalent (CO2e), compared to 8,300 tonnes of CO2e in 2016.

New Science Based Targets commitments confirmed

In December 2017, the Science Based Targets programme, an initiative established by CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and the NGO WWF, validated the Group’s new 2030 commitments. In this way, L’Oréal plans to lower its Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions by 25% in absolute terms, compared to 2016. And all its industrial, administrative and research sites have committed to a journey to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

A further commitment made as part of its Science Based Targets efforts – by 2025, 100% of the Group’s plastic packaging will be refillable, reusable, recyclable or compostable. This initiative will have a direct effect on the use of fossil fuels and will help to stimulate the circular economy.

Supporting women fighting against climate change

L’Oréal is a founding partner of the Women4Climate programme, which was launched in 2017 by C40 Cities, a global network uniting 90 of the world’s large cities that have committed to preserve the climate.

This initiative aims to support and train young women from civil society to strengthen their leadership capabilities and enable them to achieve their local climate adaption projects.

“At L’Oréal, we consider it a strategic imperative to commit ourselves, alongside the C40 women mayors, to supporting the future generation of women leaders in addressing climate change. This commitment reflects two of the Group’s major values: promoting gender equality and preserving the climate,” explains Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer of the L’Oréal Group and Executive Vice President of the L’Oréal Foundation. “Women play a fundamental role in the fight against climate change. It is our responsibility to help and support them.”

In every city signing up to the programme, L’Oréal will engage mentors from its teams to support the young women who are selected. This is already the case in Paris and in Mexico City: in each of these cities, a first cohort of 11 young women has been chosen to benefit from this mentoring programme.

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Reducing CO2 emissions

L’Oréal set the objective of reducing CO2 emissions at our plants and distribution centres by 50% in absolute terms, between 2005 and 2015. This goal was reached this year already, even though production volumes actually increased by 21%. The Group is now targeting a 60% reduction by 2020.