Reducing waste

By 2020, L’Oréal will have reduced the waste generated by its plants and distribution centres by 60%, compared to 2005. The Group is undertaking ambitious efforts to reduce waste at source, while also ensuring the recovery of residual waste.

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04/2016 • Updated 19/04/2018

A highly ambitious policy

L’Oréal has an ambitious waste management policy which goes well beyond regulatory compliance. The Group has therefore set itself a very stringent definition of the concept of “waste”, which includes, for example, raw material packaging or product packaging, sludge from wastewater treatment plants, etc. 

In 2017, the Group reduced the quantity of waste generated per finished product by 37% (beyond local regulatory requirements), compared to 2005, while production increased by 33% during the same period. Overall, it averted 1,155 tonnes of waste in 2017.
 

Generating less waste at source

In order to fulfil its waste commitment, L’Oréal is optimising its use of materials across its manufacturing operations. This approach is based on multiple Group-wide projects that seek to:

  • reduce waste related to transport packaging in plants and distribution centres, through eco-design, lightweighting, and optimising, reusing and standardising materials. Another strategy in place is “wall-to-wall” production, whereby a packaging production unit managed by a supplier is established on site. This allows the plant to reduce the transport of packaging and the generation of waste linked to transport packaging;
  • improve manufacturing and packaging processes to minimise production losses; 
  • install sludge treatment systems in plants equipped with a wastewater treatment facility, in order to reduce the volumes generated and consequently the impact of their transport and their downstream treatment.

Recovering residual waste

L’Oréal aims to go one step further by ensuring the best possible recovery of waste that cannot be avoided at source. In 2017, it recovered 96% of its industrial waste by reusing or recycling it, or harnessing it to produce energy. 61% of this waste was comprised of recovered materials (i.e. reused or recycled).
 

Promoting the circular economy

Throughout its value chain, L’Oréal endeavours to promote eco-design, resource efficiency and local waste management. The Group seeks to join circular economy networks wherever it operates, in order to create industrial synergies with other players in the area.

BRANDS

Reducing waste

L’Oréal has committed to a 60% reduction in waste from its plants and distribution centres by 2020 and aims to send zero waste to landfill from any of its industrial sites by 2016 (plants met this target end 2015). This is an ambitious challenge for the Group, which defines “waste” as any solid substance that is not marketed as a finished product.