The “Sharing Beauty With All” plan is the product of two years of research, discussions with NGOs and sustainability associations and by holding various stakeholder forums around the world.
L’Oréal will report “regularly” on its progress against each of the four goals it has set out as part of the plans, judged by a panel of independent assessors chaired by the former president of Costa Rica, José Maria Figueres, who is also deemed “an authority in the world of sustainability”.
The four areas Sharing Beauty With All covers are: innovating sustainably, producing sustainably, living sustainably and developing sustainably.
The headline commitments to achieve by 2020 as part of the plan include aiming for 100 per cent of its products to have an environmental or social benefit; reducing the company’s environmental footprint by 60 per cent; empowering “every L’Oréal consumer to make sustainable consumption choices while enhancing the beauty of the planet”; and giving L’Oréal employees access to healthcare, social protection and training wherever they are in the world.
Jean-Paul Agon, L’Oreal chairman and CEO, says: “Because we have ambitious plans for the growth of our business, the time is right to take a big leap forward and raise the bar for sustainability throughout the whole L’Oreal Group and across our entire value chain.
”We believe consumers are at the heart of our sustainability drive and we want to reach the next billion consumers while making a positive impact on the world. By accelerating sustainable innovation within our business, and harnessing the power of our brands to inform consumers, we will raise awareness about sustainability and encourage consumers to make more sustainable choices.”
L’Oréal’s profits grew 5 per cent in the first half of the year to €1.7bn, while revenue was also up 5 per cent (to €11.7bn) from a year earlier as growth in emerging regions – what it calls new markets – helped offset a wider global beauty market growth decline. New markets now account for more revenue at L’Oréal than sales from either its North America or Europe divisions.
One of the most well-known corporate sustainability initiatives is Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, unveiled in 2010. It has outlined commitments it hopes will help the company double sales and halve the environmental impact of its products by 2020 as it too looks to emerging markets for future growth.