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L'Oreal 2011 Sustainability Report > Towards Responsible Beauty?

Throughout summer 2010, we analyzed {{LNK|L’Oreal’s CSR performances for 2009|}}. Two years later, what are the improvements that have been performed by the company? Have the stakes evolved? How about the figures? In this article, we will present a part of L’Oreal’s 2011 Sustainability Report, focusing on research & innovation, environment, and talents management.

Research and Innovation

To L’Oreal, sustainable innovation means “providing safe, effective, high-quality products that respect the environment (…), ecosystems and biodiversity while providing well-being to consumers.” To do so, L’Oreal has registered no less than 613 patents throughout 2011. From now on, 55% of new primary materials are plants based, and more and more formulas tend to be biodegradable, like Fructis or Ultra-Doux.

So to be able to promote “responsible beauty”, the group has also inaugurated cosmetic industry’s first predictive evaluation center - based in France, Lyon - “where researchers reconstruct biological tissues practically identical to the skin’s epidermis (…) to evaluate safety and efficacy” of their products, without requiring animal testing.


Regarding the environment, L’Oreal’s objectives have been scheduled according to a 10 years plan, from 2005 to 2015. The group has “set itself an ambitious goal for its plants and distribution centres: halve greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption per unit of finished product and waste production per unit of finished product.”

From 2005 until today, here is an overview of what has been achieved:

-29.8% greenhouse gas emissions (in absolute value)
-22.6 % water consumption (in litre per finished product)
-24.2 % transportable waste (excluding shuttle packaging)

Concerning good practices, it is worth mentioning a little “eco-revolution” in regards to packaging issues, as L’Oreal trains its teams in eco-design, certifies over 90% of its cardboard boxes, and saves on paper by printing use instructions at the back of its packages.

In the same field, I invite you to check out {{LNK|L’Oreal Brazil Business Case|}}, where rapid growth and strong responsible policy have cleverly been combined.

Talents Management

With 68.886 collaborators over the world, L’Oreal has a duty to promote humanity, but also point its human resources towards responsible objectives and more generally, to build solid and transparent relationships with all of its stakeholders.

According to L’Oreal’s 2011 report’s website, the group’s Human Resources policy is quite innovating as it bets on local skills to develop towards new markets. The training of new leaders tends to happen closer and closer to the final consumers geographical area – Latin America, Asia, West Africa - and not in Paris anymore, as it used to be. Another way to reduce carbon footprint, isn’t it?

Also motivated by the importance of training, L’Oreal has created Green Academies, “the new environmentally-friendly professional training centres.” Three of them have already opened in Madrid, Santiago de Chile and Strasbourg, and provide L’Oreal’s professionals with instructions based on sustainable concepts. “In addition to energy savings and the well-being of haircare professionals, the program aims to instill the principles of sustainability in the people working there, and encourage them to disseminate green values while providing them with high-quality training and access to a worldwide professional network. “
In total, 44 060 collaborators have benefited from training programs in 2011, in different fields offered by the group.

You will find further information as well as precise figures {{LNK|on this online report|}}, or in the PDF below.

What do you think of this report as a whole? Would you qualify it as deep enough, in terms of quantifiable data for instance? Can you think of any topic missing, that you would have liked to see treated?

Let us know!

Download the attached file: Rapport DD L'Oréal 2011.pdf

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