Every beauty brand has one eye on the environment; some go as far as wanting to preserve the very atmosphere that nurtures the plant ingredients used in their face creams.
But on a much larger scale, they are also fully aware that Mother Nature is under stress. They are investigating ways to reduce their carbon footprint, think sustainably about how they ship products around the world and reduce the waste from manufacturing. But few had a firm plan through to 2020 – until L’Oréal made a bold announcement at its Sharing Beauty with All summit in Paris recently. Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and CEO of L’Oréal, stated “100% of products will have an environmental or social benefit”. He went on to announce, “L’Oréal’s company commitment is to produce more but with less impact and to engage consumers, who are at the heart of its business.”
By 2020 the company plan is to reduce its sustainability footprint by 60%. Agon adds: “Every time we invent or update a product, we will improve its environmental or social profile against at least one of the following criteria. Each new formula will reduce its environmental footprint, and use renewable raw materials that are sustainably sourced or raw materials derived from green chemistry. The packaging has an improved environmental profile and also each new product has a positive social impact.”
Now most of us don’t think beyond next week, let alone have a crystal ball to see how the earth will look by 2020. But what we do know (unless we are blind) is that unless each of us makes good environmental living decisions and think locally about supporting recycling and reducing our waste, we are not going to leave a great planet for our kids to enjoy.
Which brings me to the real guts of the issue for L’Oréal – the desire to give us, the beauty consumer, the power to be more responsible about the products we buy and use. Agon believes “We can make sustainable choices while enhancing the beauty of the planet.” And to prove this, each L’Oréal product will have an ‘assessment tool’ much like the smart phone download codes now available, with information showing whether the product you’re buying fits with your own sustainable lifestyle choice.
What environmental stand do you take when it comes to beauty?
Tip: Ours is to use sulphate-free shampoo and cleanser, because everything you wash down the sink ultimately ends up in the sea.