L’Oréal takes palm oil sustainable sourcing one step beyond

06/2016 • Updated 14/04/2017

L’Oréal published on June 2016 its first Palm Oil Progress report highlighting the latest results and innovations implemented for 100% responsible sourcing of palm oil and palm oil derivatives.

We directly purchase less than 700 tonnes of palm oil every year, but consume, via the ingredients purchased from our suppliers, palm oil or palm kernel oil derivatives in a quantity approximately equivalent to 60,000 tonnes of palm oil. These derivatives are glycerol, fatty acids or fatty alcohols, ingredients used in products for their emollient or foaming properties.

Even though our consumption remains low, representing 0.1% of worldwide palm production, we want to be among the most responsible companies in the world and to lead by example on the issue of palm oil.

Since 2010, 100% of the palm oil we purchase meets the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards, via the Segregated (SG) model, which is one of the most demanding. But the challenge for a company like L’Oréal is the traceability of the supply chain of palm oil derivatives and how to improve the practices within this supply chain.

We pursue a threefold innovative approach.

1. Tracing back derivatives to make full transparency:

Concerning the derivatives, which are also 100% certified, we have increased the proportion of our Mass Balance purchases, which amount to 34% at the end of 2016 (versus 26% in 2015); the remainder continues to be covered by the RSPO Book & Claim model.

And we decided to go one step further than RSPO certification, in order to ensure a deforestation-free and sustainable palm production. Since 2014, we deployed an unprecedented approach within the oleo-chemicals sector and started to map our entire supply chain and to trace derivatives back to their origin. In 2015, L’Oréal achieved to trace back 80% of its derivatives up to the level of refineries, and 50% up to the mills.

This encouraging first outcome demonstrates that tracing back derivatives is feasible. A third phase of investigations was launched in September 2016 in order to complete this data by March 2017. By then, we will have achieved 100% traceability, a first step to ensure compliance to Zero Deforestation among the concerned suppliers.

2. Supporting independent smallholders

L’Oréal is also committed to support independent smallholders, who face challenges such as deforestation and difficult living conditions. Through a multi-stakeholder partnership, L’Oréal helps to connect independent smallholders to the market demand for “Zero Deforestation” palm oil, fostering sustainable agricultural practices.

The Group aims to support the effort of all stakeholders to commit to sustainable palm sourcing and achieve Zero deforestation.

3. Driving change in the palm sector by transforming purchasing policies.

We created a “Sustainable Palm Index”. These new evaluation criteria for assessing palm derivatives suppliers are based on their commitments and achievements as regarding supply chain knowledge, sustainable sourcing practices and compliance with L’Oréal Zero Deforestation policy. In early 2017 we have published this new Sustainable Palm Index and made it available for all companies, business and partners of the palm sector. Our aim is to support the effort of all stakeholders to commit to sustainable palm sourcing and achieve Zero deforestation.

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formulas in all 19 types of product* made by L’Oréal have been screened by our experts.

* shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, skincare products, cleansers, hair colouring, styling products, perms, deodorants, suncare products, make-up, fragrances, etc.


New or renovated products having an improved environmental or social profile in 2017. Our target: 100% by 2020.


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« Nous sommes tous mobilisés pour construire un Loréal plus durable. »

Alexandra Palt

Directrice Responsabilité Sociétale et Environnementale



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