L’Oréal USA’s Garnier brand is the first mass market skin care brand to receive Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver recognition, the company announced today. The five products in the Garnier SkinActive line earned the certification based on an evaluation of material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness practices. L’Oréal says Garnier is one of the few skin care brands to have multiple products certified in a single portfolio, and that it is the third L’Oréal USA brand to achieve Cradle to Cradle certification for a selection of its products.
Sustainable Development with Technology
All of the newly certified Garnier products were produced in L’Oréal USA’s Franklin, New Jersey, facility which is powered with 100% renewable electricity and features optimized vessel cleaning systems that have led to a reduction in water consumption. The packaging for the products is made up from between 30% and 50% post-consumer recycled plastic.
By focusing on the development of sustainable products, L’Oréal is encouraging other businesses to follow suit, according to MBDC, the originators of the Cradle to Cradle Certified program and assessors of the certified Garnier products.
To further these efforts, L’Oréal developed what it calls the Sustainable Product Optimization Tool (SPOT) to improve the environmental and social profile of its products. SPOT focuses on five elements of product sustainability: packaging, formula, ingredient sourcing, manufacturing and social benefit. In 2017, L’Oréal integrated SPOT into the design and launch process of its entire brand portfolio.
Last year, the company implemented SPOT to assess the environmental and social impacts of products across its 53 brands. With its help, the company has improved the sustainability of more than 120 products.
Improved Sales with Sustainability
L’Oréal says it aims to become a “circular economy” by focusing on biodiversity, ecodesign, digitalization, and material reuse and recovery. The focus is partly in response to customer demand: In 2016, a Pure Strategies survey showed that leading beauty brands that focus on sustainability find increased sales, brand enhancement, and reduced risks and costs.
Unilever, for example, has reported 30% faster growth for its brands with a sustainability purpose, compared to the rest of its business, with these more sustainable products contributing nearly half of the firm’s total growth in 2015.