L’Oréal renews fight against climate change with 2020 goal

Goal set to become a completely ‘carbon balanced’ company in next five years

Beauty behemoth L’Oréal has set itself a new goal as part of its efforts to limit the impact of its business on the environment.

The company has announced its intention to become a ‘carbon balanced’ company by 2020, in other words, to generate enough carbon gains to completely offset the amount of greenhouse gas emissions linked to its activities and processes.

Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal, said: “Three months from the COP 21 [climate conference], this renewed commitment shows L’Oréal’s will to take part in the fight against climate change. This initiative demonstrates the group’s capacity to leverage its innovation power in order to address a major environmental challenge alongside its suppliers and communities. Companies must play a leading role in the quest for solutions to the challenges of our time.”

L’Oréal has been a frontrunner among cosmetics companies in the race to cut down their carbon footprint. As part of its 2020 goal, L’Oréal hopes to reduce its CO2 emissions by 60%; since 2005, the company has cut them by 50%. In addition, L’Oréal aims to make carbon gains by working with its raw material suppliers.

Some of the low-carbon projects L’Oréal has already launched are now in full swing. In Burkina Faso, L’Oréal is planning to supply more efficient cook stoves to the 22,000 women that harvest nuts used to make shea butter, scaling back on wood consumption. The company will work with Olvéa group, its historical sustainable supplier of shead butter. Meanwhile, over in the Jambi province of Indonesia, L’Oréal has struck up a partnership with Firmenich to help producers grow patchouli and cinnamon plants together. This way land use is optimised reducing the need to extend farmland.

Progress of the new initiative will be monitored yearly at a meeting of an expert committee of international carbon specialists; results will be published annually.

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