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L'Oréal Paris to cut 50% of carbon footprint by 2030

Beauty brand L'Oréal Paris has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 50% per finished product, and will contribute €10m to environmental projects whose beneficiaries are communities of women around the world.

Credit: L'Oréal Group

These announcements form part of the brand's 'L’Oréal For the Future, Because our Planet is Worth it' sustainability programme revealed on Thursday, which lays out a new set of ambitions for 2030. These ambitions build upon its sustainability achievements to date and are aligned with the goals of the larger L’Oréal Group.

“Now is the time to reconcile innovation, sustainability and progress, to make the shift to a circular economy and to reduce the impact of our products,” said Delphine Viguier-Hovasse, global brand president, L’Oréal Paris.

“We are not starting from scratch. Between 2005 and 2020, our factories and distribution centres have already reduced CO2 emissions by 82%, water consumption by 44%, and waste generation by 35%. There is still much work to be done but we will remain strong in our resolve to make a difference and play our part in this race against climate change.”

Optimising packaging

Reducing the weight of products: To help conserve natural resources and reduce the carbon footprint of products, the brand is working to reduce the weight of packaging. For example, it lowered the weight of the aluminium used in the L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Carbon Protect Aerosol by -5.1 grams per bottle, representing 135 tonnes of aluminium saved annually.

Also, by reducing the weight of the Revitalift jar, L’Oréal Paris reduced the use of glass for this product by 11 grams per jar, saving 434 tonnes of glass annually. Furthermore, the weight of boxes and instructions for hair colour ranges have been reduced, representing an important saving of paper every year.

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By 2030, the brand will reduce by 20% in intensity the quantity of packaging. This economy of materials represents a significate optimisation of weight and space in transport, contributing to reduce carbon emissions due to transportation.

Using 100% recycled plastic: L’Oréal Paris is working on accelerating the shift to a circular economy, where materials are kept in use for as long as possible, by optimising packaging recyclability, striving to conserve resources and prevent plastic pollution. This includes using more recycled content in packaging, with the objective of reaching 100% recycled or biobased plastic by 2030 (or 0 virgin plastic).

Embodying change: Since 2020, the L’Oréal Paris haircare range, Elvive, has undertaken a major transformation by targeting 100% recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) for shampoo and conditioner bottles in Europe.

Engaging consumers: To seek alternatives to single-use packaging and propose refill or reuse systems while engaging consumers, L’Oréal Paris will join Loop initiative and take part in a project to trial new types of durable packaging. The new shampoo and conditioner packaging will be made of aluminum, and sold with a deposit, on the retailer’s website. After using the products, consumers will be able to return the packaging to the retailer that will collect and return the packaging to L’Oréal Paris for cleaning and refining.

Improving formulas

To reduce its environmental impact, the brand is improving the biodegradability of its formulas and reducing its water footprint. Among the products launched in 2019, Elvive Full Resist Power Mask and Men Expert Shaving Barber Club Crème de Rasage have levels of biodegradability exceeding 94% (97% and 94% respectively).

Furthermore, to address a more conscious use of water during use phase (which represents 50% of the CO2 footprint of the brand, linked with heating the water for rinsing products) and help reduce the time needed in the shower, the brand also develops formulas that need less water to be rinsed (e.g. More than Shampoo), as well as new beauty routines that require fewer rinsing steps (two-in-one products or non-rinse haircare treatments such as Dream Lengths Management).

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Producing sustainably

L’Oréal Paris factories continue their ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions, water consumption and waste generation. Between 2005 and 2020, L’Oréal Paris factories and distribution centres have reduced CO2 emissions by 82%, water consumption by 44%, and waste generation by 35%.

Today, L’Oréal Paris products are made in 26 factories around the world. Eleven of them are already carbon neutral (using 100% renewable energy, without offsetting) and the rest will reach this goal in 2025.

Investment in women empowerment

As women are the primary victims of climate change, L'Oréal Paris will invest €10m in a series of six carbon projects whose beneficiaries are communities of women around the world. Along with financial support, L’Oréal Paris will also develop specific programmes that encourage a greater inclusion of women in leadership of these projects.

In Honduras for example, where local indigenous communities protect and restore mangroves, the brand will support a project managed by a cooperative of women who will receive support and education.

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2025 goals:

• 100% of the brand’s factories will be carbon neutral
• 50% of plastic will be recycled plastic, among which 100% recycled PET
• 100% of L’Oréal Paris’ plastic packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable
• €10m invested in environmental projects
• 88,515 tonnes of residual carbon emissions by 2025
• 54K hectares protected

2030 goals:

• 100% of all L’Oréal Paris products will be eco-designed
• 100% of the plastic will come from recycled or biobased materials
• L’Oréal Paris will reduce the quantity of packaging used for its products by 20% in intensity
• 100% of L’Oréal Paris’ renewable and mineral raw materials will be sustainably sourced
• 95% of the brand’s ingredients will be of renewable origin, derived from abundant minerals or circular processes
• 50% less CO2 emissions per product, compared to 2016
• 100% of L’Oréal Paris’ factories will be “waterloop factories”
• Carbon emissions intensity linked to transport of products will be reduced by 50% for each product

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