In operation since 1975, Libramont, L’Oréal’s Belgian plant, has become a role model for the Group. Over the years, it has significantly increased the number of initiatives in terms of sustainable development, thus contributing actively to the Sharing Beauty with All commitments.
Libramont, our first 100% green energy plant
For 20 years now, this plant, today specialised in hair dye products for the European retail market, has increased the number of initiatives to meet a precise goal, how to produce more with less of an impact. By reducing its CO2 emissions, optimising energy consumption, limiting transport, decreasing its water consumption and the quantity of waste generated, and by promoting recycling; the Libramont plant has been active on all fronts.
These many innovations have already reaped benefits, thus creating solid ground for going even further in providing answers to today’s environmental, economic and social challenges.
As a result of the active contribution of its teams, the results speak for themselves. The Libramont plant, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015, has become a symbol of industrial excellence in terms of sustainable development.
‘‘The Sharing Beauty With All programme truly stands out as a result of the initiatives and projects conducted at the Libramont plant. This represents a major contribution to L’Oréal’s Operations, says Frédéric Heinrich, Director of Operations Europe for the Consumer Product Division.
Innovations for producing sustainably
In 2009, owing to the implementation of a biomethanisation process, the Libramont plant has become the Group’s first 100% green energy plant. This technology helps produce the electricity and heat (heating and vapour) needed by the plant. This process, called cogeneration, even enables excess green power to be released, which is then directly injected into the public network to meet the needs of approximately 5,500 households. This technology has thus been effective in reducing the plant’s CO2 emissions by 180% in absolute terms, from a baseline of 2005.
The Libramont plant has also become committed to a reduction in water consumption.Thanks to a large number of initiatives, such as the recovery of vapour condensate, optimised tank-cleaning processes and the installation of a cooling water loop, substantial savings in water have been made. A water treatment plant ensures biological, physical and chemical wastewater treatment. In addition, a water recycling unit was set up in early 2015, thus saving 150 cubic metres of water per day used for washing equipment, i.e. the annual consumption of an average household. All of these measures helped reduce water consumption by 52.6 % per finished product between 2005 and 2015.
Furthermore, the plant has set up a large number of initiatives aiming at significantly reducing waste linked to the plant’s activities. Since 1992, all waste has thus been sorted, recycled or used as an energy source, thus enabling the Libramont plant to reach the objective of ‘‘zero industrial waste to landfill’’ for 15 years now. With its suppliers, the plant gives priority to the use of shuttle crates to replace disposable cardboard packaging. In addition, by integrating bottle manufacturing at its supplier’s plant, this has not only led to putting an end to transport but to CO2 emissions as well, while also eliminating the bottle packaging needed for transport.
To cite another noteworthy initiative, in 2014 the plant became equipped with a solar energy greenhouse so as to reduce residual sludge from the water treatment plant by 75%. These measures have helped reduce waste generation by 25% per finished product since 2005.