A new tool to assess the environmental and social impact of our products

04/2016 • Updated 14/04/2017

By 2020, we wish to provide consumers with information on the environmental and social role of each of our new products to help them make informed, sustainable consumption choices.


A new assessment tool for our products in the development stage


The production, sale and use of a cosmetic product generates an impact on the environment throughout its life cycle. They also have an impact on a certain number of players present along its value chain: communities that produce the different ingredients, suppliers, employees and consumers.

To measure these impacts, improve each one of our products and share these components with our consumers in a transparent manner, our teams have been developing since 2014 a tool which will make it possible to evaluate the environmental and social performance of its products and which will incorporate social criteria for the first time, in addition to environmental indicators.

A vital step in this process, an initial simplified version was developed, beginning in late 2014. A first simplified version of this system was initially deployed by four pilot brands: Biotherm, Garnier, La Roche-Posay and Redken US. The tool was then made available to other Group brands. The brands were also able to become familiar with this tool and use it successfully, such as Biotherm, in order to revamp its Biosource range.

A second roll-out phase began in October 2015. In order, to capitalise on the experience from the pilot initiative and build on work carried out to improve the Product Environmental Footprint. Teams, our teams are now developing a more complete version of the assessment tool.

In 2016, a more elaborate version, with optimized ergonomics and broader functionalities, was made available to the pilot brands, enabling them:

  • to stimulate different design options in order to be able to evaluate their impact on the environment and on society, and thus identify the possible drivers for improvement;
  • to measure impact reduction at product level, in accordance with a methodology aligned with European standards.

Called SPOT, for Sustainable Product Optimisation Tool, this tool is gradually being rolled out to our brands – Garnier, La Roche-Posay, L’Oréal Professionnel, L’Oréal Paris, Matrix and Biotherm in 2016 – and the teams in charge of product design are being trained to use it. More than 120 products were evaluated using SPOT in 2016.

A robust system, co-built with experts


For the overall design of this tool, we called upon a panel of 12 international experts, who met up for four days of workshops in 2016, to contribute to the development of the methodologyand to guarantee the relevance of the final system.

We also worked with a panel of 7 recognised experts in social life cycle analysis to develop the first methodology for calculating the social impact of cosmetics. The SPOT tool was developed by integrating this methodology. It therefore makes it possible to measure, in addition to their environmental impact, the potential social impact that the Group’s products may have on its stakeholders (our suppliers, L’Oréal’s employees and the communities with which we interact).

Since 2014, L’Oréal has continued to give thought to this topic within the scope of a Product Social Impact Assessment round table discussion that brings together 12 international companies from different sectors.

Back to « Innovating »

More than 40 000

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.

2016 82 %
2015 74 %

New or renovated products have an improved environmental or social profile in 2015. Our target: 100% by 2020.


of new or renovated products in 2016 have an improved environmental or social profile thanks to packaging with a lower environmental footprint.

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

Alexandra Palt

Directrice Responsabilité Sociétale et Environnementale



Find all our publications regarding our sustainability commitments as well as press kits and videos in the Resources section.

All resources
2015 report

Our 2016
progress report

Download the 2016 progress report