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"L’Oréal for the Future" lays out group’s ambitious sustainability goals

Alissa Demorest

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This morning, French beauty group L’Oréal unveiled its sustainability strategy through 2030. Dubbed L’Oréal for the Future, the plan includes ambitious targets for its packaging and aims for carbon neutrality by 2025 for all of its industrial, administrative and research sites.

By 2030 the group is forecasting a reduction of its total packaging consumption by 20% as compared to 2019 levels. During the digital conference, L’Oréal CSR Managing Director Alexandra Palt noted that the group “is going beyond just the use of bio-based or recycled plastic to reduce plastic consumption by 20% per finished product.” 

Philippe Bonningue, Global Director of Sustainable Packaging, noted that the group’s products are already conceived using eco-design principles, meaning that the point of reference is already quite high. “Reducing this further is a real challenge for us,” he explained. He highlighted three focus areas meant to help reduce the amount of packaging produced by the group: driving technical developments, such as lightweighting and the conception of new formats; favoring new materials, such as the recently launched paper tube that replaces its plastic counterpart and refill formats, be they for home use or at retail.

Plastics is a major area of focus; L’Oréal aims for 100% of its plastic packaging to be recycled or bio-based by 2030, with a 50% rate forecast to be attained by 2025. The tools put into place to reach these ambitious goals include driving innovative recycling processes (notably with Carbios) resulting in a recycled material with the same properties and aesthetic qualities as virgin plastic and building the feedstock by expanding waste sources beyond just product packaging.

Bonningue noted that by the end of 2020, some 15-20% of the group’s plastics will be recycled or bio-based.

By the year 2025, all of L’Oréal’s plastic packaging will be refillable, reusable, recyclable or compostable.

Within the 2030 timeframe, the group is targeting a 50% reduction in greenhouse gases per finished product compared to 2016 levels and aims for 95% of the ingredients for its formulas to be bio-sourced, to come from mineral sources deemed “abundant” or to be the result of “circular processes”.

L'Oréal is also setting up a €50 million fund to finance innovative projects in the field of recycling and plastic waste management.

In a bid to communicate the environmental and social impact of its products, the group announced that it is launching a rating, ranging from best in class A to E to appear on the packaging.

L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon concluded the digital conference by saying that the group’s ambitions in the area of sustainability were “in no way a constraint, but a fantastic opportunity”.

Stay tuned for our upcoming interview with L’Oréal’s sustainable packaging team.

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