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How sustainable is L'Oréal ?

L'Oréal & sustainability


L'Oréal
First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 4 out of 26

Sustainability summary

L'Oréal has achieved the D-label. L'Oréal has started to take sustainability into account. Still, a lot more can be done.

Brand owner: L'Oréal S.A.
Head office: Paris, France
Sector: Cosmetics
Categories : 
Free Tags: L'Oréal Group

What's your sustainability news about L'Oréal?

L'Oréal sustainability score report

Last edited: 14 July 2016 by Marine
Last reviewed: 14 July 2016 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

2 out of 4
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Brand owner L'Oréal implements several measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for instance at it's plants, distribution centers and by the transportation of products (see link, page 16). Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? L'Oréal increased its climate footprint (Scope 1&2) of own operations from 193,420 ktons of CO2e in 2012 to 204,424 ktons of CO2e in 2014. This represents an increase of around 5,6% (see link, "Climate Change 2013 & 2015 Response"). Source
3. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? L'Oréal has set a target to reduce CO2e emissions by 60% by 2020, from a 2005 baseline (see link, "Climate Change 2015 Response"). Source
4. Is at least 25% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? For 2015, L'Oréal reports a 42% renewable energy use on total energy consumption for its plants and distribution centers (biomass, solar panels, hydropower or purchased green electricity). But, renewable energy supply for its entire electricity use is not clear enough specified regarding type of energy, additionality and share (see link, page 16). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

1 out of 18
1. Does the brand have a policy to phase out all possible harmful substances? Brand owner L'Oréal discontinues using diethyl phthalate and tricoslan, to reduce concentrations for use of phenylenediamine in its hair-color products, and prefers exclusive use of short-chain parabens (ethyl and methyl parabens). But, a general policy to phase out all possible harmful substances is not specified. Source
2. Does the brand refrain from using the high hazard (red coded) chemicals as listed in the Skin Deep database of the Environmental Working Group, and if still used, does the brand give scientific account for the safe use of it? L'Oréal is listed on the SkinDeep 'red coded' database using an abundance of chemicals coded as ‘red’, and L'Oréal does not give a clarification on the full spectrum of possible hazardous substances used. Source
3. Does the brand strictly apply the precautionary principle (=banning) for all possible harmful substances such as parabens, also when the scientific evidence for possible harm is limited, unclear or debated? L'Oréal only states applying the precaution principle leading to the substitution of ingredients in the event of a proven risk or a strongly suspected risk, co-operating with the relevant authorities and being vigilant with regard to any new scientific data (see link, page 40). Source
4. Does the brand refrain from using any microplastics for all of its products? L'Oréal communicates it will have banned all microbeads of polyethylene (like microplastics) from its products on group level by 2017. For its brand L'Oréal no specific timeline is specified. Source
5. Does the cosmetics brand completely refrain from animal testing including tests in the supply chain? L'Oréal completely refrains from animal testing, and does not delegate this task to others, but tolerates exceptions if a national supervisory authority demand it for safety or regulatory purposes (see link, page 154). Source
6. Does the cosmetics brand refrain from using animal derived ingredients? L'Oréal does not specify to refrain using animal derived ingredients for its brand L'Oréal. Source
7. Does the brand have a policy to replace petroleum-based ingredients with renewable, biodegradable ingredients? By 2020, L'Oréal aims that 100% of its products are to be endowed with environmental benefit. Also, raw materials are selected on the basis of biodegradability, bioaccumulation potential and ecotoxicity. But, L'Oréal does not specify to replace petroleum-based ingredients with renewable, biodegradable ingredients. Source
8. Has the brand already achieved an overall ratio of 50% renewable, biodegradable ingredients? For its brand L'Oréal, L'Oréal does not specify the overall ratio of renewable, biodegradable ingredients. Source
9. Are all the cosmetics of the brand free of organic-synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, ethoxylated raw materials, synthetic UV filters, synthetic preservatives, silicones, paraffin and other petroleum derived products? L'Oréal uses several of petroleum derived ingredients. Source
10. Are all cosmetics free of genetically modified materials, nanomaterials and radiated materials? L'Oréal does not specify whether all L'Oréal brand products are free of genetically modified materials, nanomaterials and radiated materials. Source
11. Are at least 50% of the brand products certified ‘natural’? L'Oréal does not specify which share of its L'Oréal brand products is certified ‘natural’. Source
12. Does the brand use organic or otherwise environmentally certified renewable ingredients for at least 50% of its total use of ingredients? L'Oréal uses RSPO certified palm oil and palm oil derivates. But it is not clearly specified what overall share of total use of ingredients this represents for its brand L'Oréal (see link, page 14). Source
13. Are at least 90% of the brand products certified ‘organic’? L'Oréal does not specify which share of its L'Oréal brand products is certified ‘organic’. Source
14. Does the brand inform users through all products about environmentally responsible use, such as dosage, water use and packaging disposal? L'Oréal does not specify whether environmentally responsible use information are provided for its customers through all L'Oréal brand products. Source
15. Does the brand (company) publish a water footprint and is there a concrete policy to minimize, reduce or compensate this footprint? L'Oréal implements several measures to reduce its water usage and discharge. In 2015, L'Oréal used 2,213,000 m3 of water at its plants and distribution centers (see link, environmental question 17, page 167). That is around 11% less than in 2014 (see link, "Water 2015 Response"). Source
16. Does the brand (company) publish its annual material use footprint, or alternatively material footprints for each sold product, and does the brand have an effective policy in place to reduce the overall environmental impact of material use? L'Oréal implements several measures to improve its annual material footprint, but does not publish its annual material footprint, or alternatively material footprints for each sold product. Source
17. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? L'Oréal implements several measures to minimize waste. But, aggregate results regarding its annual waste materials footprint are not specified (see link, pages 141-186). Source
18. Does the brand have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of packaging, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report on these results? L'Oréal implements several measures to minimize the impact of its packaging. But, aggregate results regarding its annual packaging materials footprint are not clearly specified (see link, pages 162-186). Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

1 out of 4
1. Does the brand (company) purchase tropical ingredients such as palm oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, carnauba wax from sources (e.g. plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce these tropical materials? Brand owner L'Oréal reports that 100% of its soya and sesame oil where purchased from fair trade certified sources in 2015 (which scheme is not specified). Also a part of its palm oil and palm oil derivates supply is SG RSPO certified (see link, page 158-162). Source
2. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 50% of its tropical ingredients such as palm oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, carnauba wax from sources (e.g. plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the tropical ingredients? See remark for labour conditions policy question 1. But, L'Oréal does not specify which share of its tropical ingredients purchased is socially certified (see link, page 158-162). Source
3. Does the brand (company) purchase mined raw materials such as mica and gold from sources (e.g. mines) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the raw materials, and/or is the brand equally involved in significant initiatives to achieve this? 60% of L'Oréal's mica supply is sourced from the United States. Other sourcing regions are countries like India. L'Oréal claims that 100% of its mica supply will be secured in terms of child labor and unsafe working conditions by end of 2016. How this will be accomplished, as well as reporting regarding other minerals, is not yet clear enough specified. Source
4. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 50% of its mined raw materials such as mica and gold from sources (e.g. mines) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the workers who produce the raw materials, and/or is the brand equally involved in significant initiatives to achieve this? See remark for labour conditions policy question 3. L'Oréal does not specify, which share of its minerals sourced is socially certified. Source