Can the world’s largest cosmetics company achieve carbon neutrality by 2025?

Alexandra Palt was a human rights lawyer before joining L’Oréal as Chief Sustainability Officer in 2012.

Perhaps this explains his motivation to change the direction of the world’s largest cosmetics company.

“Climate change, environmental damage and biodiversity are already causing a lot of human suffering,” said Palt, who spoke to Euronews Green during his visit to Expo Dubai 2020.

“This environmental transformation has a huge impact on people’s access to rights, on women’s access to rights, on access to food, on access to water,” continues Palt.

“So it’s not just about preserving the planet. It is about ensuring a safe operating space for humanity.

These noble ambitions led her to be promoted to Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer of L’Oréal in 2017.

In addition, she was appointed Executive Vice-President of the L’Oréal Foundation, a group “formed to empower women to shape their future and make a difference in society”.

Since then, Palt has announced sweeping changes within the company aimed at reducing the environmental impact of its manufacturing practices.

More specifically, the “Sharing Beauty With All” campaign focused on L’Oréal’s production processes and set itself the target that 100% of its products have an environmental or social benefit by 2020.

While somewhat vague goals like these are difficult to measure, Palt believes the results far exceeded the company’s high expectations.

“We have reduced our carbon emissions by 80% while our production has increased by almost 40%, so we have managed to decouple our carbon emissions from our production in our industrial activity, which is of course a huge success.

This was in part achieved by developing 72 carbon neutral production sites, all of which now run on 100% renewable energy.

And Palt doesn’t plan on stopping there.

The next decade

With the conclusion of L’Oréal’s “Sharing Beauty With All” campaign, the company – which owns Garnier, Maybelline New York and Redken – has announced an equally ambitious project titled “L’Oréal for the Future”.

This social and environmental solidarity program intends to meet a new set of objectives for 2030:

  • Achieve 100% carbon neutrality at all L’Oréal sites by 2025.
  • Produce 100% of the plastics used in L’Oréal packaging from recycled or biobased sources by 2030.
  • 50% reduction in all of L’Oréal’s greenhouse gas emissions per finished product compared to 2016.

The company is also allocating 150 million euros to address pressing social and environmental issues, such as helping women integrate socially and professionally in developing countries.

“We know that the next 20 to 30 years will bring huge transformations, so people’s expectations of the role of business have changed dramatically,” says Palt.

“The whole economic system is based on the idea of ​​infinite resources, infinite consumption and waste. But this is no longer the reality. So we all have to learn to change.

Only time will tell if the company can meet its lofty goals, but one thing is for sure: Palt is a breath of fresh air in an age of overt greenwashing of companies.

Unlike many of her business cohorts, the former lawyer seems to really care.

“This is not a photo. This is a movie. We are all growing together and we have to improve.

Watch the video above to learn more.


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