L’Oreal bolstered its commitment to an eco-responsible business model by reducing energy and water consumption, waste and CO2 emissions in 2008, according to the company’s fifth annual sustainable development report. The company also set three new long-term environmental targets to cut greenhouse house gas (GHG) emissions, as well as water use and waste generated per unit of finished product, all by 50 percent at its factories and warehouses from 2005 to 2015.
In 2008, the global cosmetics company reduced total GHG emissions by 6.6 percent, volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by 15.4 percent and sulphur dioxide emissions by 28.3 percent. The company also cut its total energy use by 3.6 percent and water consumption by 6.9 percent.
Although L’Oreal reduced its total energy use by 3.6 percent, it missed its five percent reduction target per finished product. However, the company exceeded its goal to reduce water consumption at factories by 3 percent per unit of finished product, achieving a 3.4 percent reduction. The company also exceeded it goal of reducing its total CO2 emissions by two percent, achieving a 6.6 percent reduction.
L’Oreal also cut waste by 4.9 percent (including returnable packaging), with nearly half of its factories and warehouses sending no waste to landfill. In addition, 95 percent of the company’s waste is recycled, reused or used for energy generation. All of its factories are ISO 14001 and either OHSAS 18000 or VPP accredited with the exception of three, which are recent acquisitions or start-ups.
The company reduced waste generated per unit of finished product by 0.5 percent. The target was a 5 percent reduction overall (excluding returnable packaging).
Since 2003, the company has reduced CO2 emissions by 23 percent, energy consumption by 17 percent, water consumption by 25 percent and waste by 26 percent per finished product.
L’Oreal also achieved its target to source all pulp used in its cardboard from sustainably managed forests and reduced the quantity of plastic used for its bottles by around 800 tons via lightweight packaging.
The company’s environmental targets for 2009 include a reduction in energy use by 5 percent per finished product and total CO2 emissions by 2 percent. The company also plans to cut water use by 3 percent per finished product in factories and decrease waste by 5 percent (excluding returnable packaging).
The company’s focus and annual sustainability audit centers around seven key areas including: economic affairs, environment /health/safety, research and development, supply chain relations, employee relations, consumer relations and community engagement.