L'Oreal - Because Sustainability Is Worth It
I was recently invited to participate in L'Oreal's London stakeholder engagement forum to learn and discuss their approach to sustainable development. Amongst a small group of NGO's and sustainability experts it was a great opportunity to explore how a global cosmetic company balances its complex relationship with the environment and society.
If beauty is merely in the eye of the beholder, nobody has told L'Oreal.
They have 66,000 employees, sell 161 products every second in 130 countries and produce 5.4 billion products every year.
Yesterday saw L'Oreal step up its sustainability engagement with the first of four planned global stakeholder engagement forum events, with the first held in London.
My expectations were similar to those before the Microsoft Accelerator Summit I was invited to last year, i.e. not huge due to minimal information sent beforehand, me being a busy 3BL Media bee and L'Oreal never over energetically communicating their activity, all against a backdrop of a couple of slippery issues including animal testing and the acquisition of Body Shop part of their history.
Much more information on their sustainable development approach is available online here, but I'll give you a brief perspective on the event and some of the key issues below.
The headlines include the company looking to double their business by 2015 whilst reducing CO2 by 50%, waste by 50% and water use by 50% (across the period 2005 - 2015).