China: L’Oréal takes action on sustainability
In 2017, L’Oréal China celebrated both its 20th anniversary and significant progress on sustainability across the four pillars of the Group’s Sharing Beauty With All.
Putting products at the heart of the action
L’Oréal’s research centre in China is a pioneer in sustainable innovation. For example, a L’Oréal Paris range of anti-dandruff shampoos now features a 95.1% biodegradable formula and a 90% lower water footprint than the category average. The research centre also develops formulas with natural ingredients such as extracts of tea or ingredients derived from traditional Chinese medicine. On the packaging side, the centre focuses on using recycled materials and reducing the weight of packaging used. In this way, local brand Yue Sai has been able to re-design its Ganoderma Vitality product,
replacing its 80g glass jar with a 5g plastic tube, thereby lowering the packaging weight by 93.75%.
Producing sustainably: transforming industrial sites
To contribute to the Group’s global 2020 commitments, the Suzhou plant equipped itself with photovoltaic solar panels which now meet 10% of its electricity needs, with the remainder obtained through a contract with a neighbouring wind farm. The site therefore functions with 100% renewable electricity. Its next goal is to produce steam derived from green energy, in order to become the Group’s second carbon neutral site in China, after the Yichang plant.
Another way to consume: empowering consumers
L’Oréal joined forces with the Chinese Ministry for the Environment in 2017 to encourage the country’s citizens to consume more sustainably. Together, they launched an initial “Green Consumption Initiative” in 2017. Focused on the beauty industry, the initiative aims to promote a more sustainable lifestyle among citizens by helping them to choose more responsible products, and take a more considered approach to energy, water, waste and recycling. The Group’s brands are also getting involved, following Kiehl’s lead, for example. The brand has opened two LEED-certified* stores, creating new standards for the Group’s stores in China.
Sharing growth with the most vulnerable
Sharing growth means including communities and stakeholders in partnerships that generate positive impacts. For example, L’Oréal is collaborating with the NGO Shanshui Conservation to develop, in the centre of the country, a responsible supply chain for honey, which the Group uses as an ingredient in certain beauty products. The producers benefit from a fair price for their high quality honey and from training on sustainable farming practices, which in turn contributes to preserving the last natural habitat of pandas in the region.
L’Oréal China also supports the activities of the L’Oréal Foundation, such as the Beauty for a Better Life programme, which reached more than 1,020 beneficiaries in 2017. Elsewhere, the Group signed an agreement with e-commerce giant, Jingdong, to train and employ 300 disabled people within Jingdong’s customer service team by 2020.
* Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design : a respected international environmental certification for the construction sector.