Optimised water consumption and recycling water on site

04/2016 • Updated 14/04/2017

The Group cares about a respectful usage of water with consumption kept to a minimum, in line with the local availability of this vital resource.

Since 2005, we have reduced the water consumption of our plants and distribution centres by 33%, in absolute terms, while our production has increased by 29%. This corresponds to a 48% reduction in water consumption in litre per finished product by the end of 2016. All the projects currently being carried out enabled us to reduce the water consumption of our plants and distribution centres by nearly 45,000 m 3 in 2016. In total, a saving equivalent to one and a half years’ water consumption related to industrial activity was thus made between 2005 and 2016.

This performance, combined with the efforts made to improve the water footprint of formulas (see page 10), enabled L’Oréal to obtain for the first time a score of “A”, representing the highest level of performance, in the ranking of companies with regard to sustainable water management made in 2016 by the CDP, an independent international organisation that evaluates the environmental performance of companies.

Lever for action

Optimised water consumption is, internally, a key performance indicator for L’Oréal plants and is monitored using Waterscan, a tool specially developed by the Group. Waterscan categorises water consumption at each stage of the process and can identify the potential to reduce water use at each site.

Our teams seek in priority to reduce the quantities of water used to clean production equipment and packaging lines. An operation required by virtue of very strict hygiene standards, which represents 35% of the total consumption of our production sites. The quantity of washing water required is therefore adjusted on the basis of the formula of each product manufactured and the equipment used.


Recycling water on site

L’Oréal is developing a number of wastewater recycling projects. By the end of 2015, 10 facilities were in place at sites in Karlsruhe (Germany), Rambouillet (France, see inset), Aulnay (France), Libramont (Belgium), Burgos (Spain), Settimo (Italy), Istanbul (Turkey), Pune (India), Suzhou (China) and Montreal (Canada). The approach involves retreating the wastewater discharged from the water treatment facilities of the plants in order to bring it up to the Group’s quality standards. It is then reused by the plants to wash manufacturing tools and cooling processes.

Plans are now underway to implement similar measures at a number of other sites and to include them in the Group’s industrial standards. The Group has already begun a campaign to achieve a neutral water footprint at its plants.. 
The goal is to recycle and reuse all types of water, with the exception of the water used to make products. 

En savoir plus

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2016 -48%
2015 -45%

Reduction of water consumption in  our plants and distribution centres since 2005 (in litre per finished product). Our target: -60 % by 2020.

-67% CO2 emissions

+29% production

Results recorded since 2005, which show that ambitious commitment for the climate and economic performance can work together.

2016 -35%
2015 -31 %


Reduction of waste generated by our plants and distribution centres since 2005 (in grams prr finished product). Our target: -60% by 2020.

« 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