The French cosmetics multinational will allocate 150 million euros to support environmental and social causes as part of the new sustainable initiative “L'Oréal for the Future”.
In an interview with Jornal Económico, the company's vice president of Sustainability explains that this amount will serve two purposes: 100 million will be invested in the management of environmental impacts. One half will serve for the restoration and regeneration of ecosystems, while the other 50 million will serve to foster the company's circular economy through recycling projects, waste management and the production of alternative materials to plastic.
"When we talk about climate change, we forget the importance of improving what already exists," says Alexandra Palt via Teams. “It is important to inform that the restoration of ecosystems can contribute to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG). The money to do this does not exist and that is why we decided to create an investment fund that serves this purpose ”.
These ecosystems include forests such as the Amazon, Indonesian mangroves, coastal territories and natural habitats that are under threat. "With this initiative we expect a return on investment and - I hope - a new ecosystem for the restoration of financial biodiversity", he stressed, making it clear that until the end of the year no L'Oréal product will be associated with deforestation.
The second purpose will serve social causes. L'Oréal is therefore committed to helping community organizations around the world whose purpose is to support women in vulnerable conditions. “We talk about all kinds of situations, from women in situations of unemployment, homeless to women with inserted in a context of abuse or violence,” said Alexandra Palt to JE.
“We want to lead the transformation in the next 10 years”
The new initiative thus outlines an action plan whose deadline ends in 2030 and involves making all L'Oréal workplaces - production, management and research - carbon neutral, by 2025, and using 100% renewable energy in these points . Make 100% of the plastics used in the packaging of the brand's products come from recycled sources, or from bio-based sources, and reduce by 50% all its greenhouse gas emissions, per finished product, compared to 2016. The multinational French company also aspires that 100% of the water used in industrial processes be recycled and reused in a closed circuit.
Finally, in order to sensitize its consumers to make more sustainable choices, L'Oréal has developed a Product Environmental and Social Impact Labeling mechanism, with a scale from A (good) to E (bad), certified by independent scientific experts and validated by an independent auditor, which will be progressively implemented in all brands and categories.
“Our strategy is focused on setting goals and achieving them,” replied the vice president when asked about the reason for drawing up a 10-year plan contrary to what most companies do.
“The only way forward is carbon neutrality, in 2050, this is our only alternative. But we are not going to commit ourselves to goals that will only be realized 30 years from now. We have to show first that we are leading the transformation in the next 10 years because that is the period that scientists give us. The company feels more comfortable in designing “short-term” deadlines first so we can be sure that they will be achieved ”, he reinforces.
“L'Oréal for the Future” thus continues the company's initiative to become 100% sustainable, a mission that began in 2013. During this period, the cosmetics giant managed to change the quality of production making it more sustainable and exceeding the goal of reducing its GHG emissions by 70% in 2019. The forecasts for this year suggest that the company managed to reduce the reduction of polluting gases by 80%, a value that exceeds the target of 60%.
In line with this reduction, there are also cuts in the environmental footprint of new and renewed products. In 2019, this reduction was 85% and by 2020 the company expects to improve the environmental profile of the products and reduce the footprint by 90%. "This allows us to put the word" sustainability "at the center of our strategy," said Palt.
Within the scope of this new sustainability program, L'Oréal Portugal has just signed the Lisbon Capital Verde European 2020 Commitment - Climate Action Lisbon 2030. With this adhesion, the company is committed to developing a set of actions and measures, over the coming years, in different areas such as energy, mobility or circular economy, such as the installation of LED lighting, solar energy equipment, equipment to reduce water consumption and the use of electric vehicles in its fleet.