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L’Oréal Ramped Up Sustainability Practices in 2016

The world’s largest beauty company said that it is redoubling its efforts in the domain.

PARIS — L’Oréal plans to redouble its efforts on the sustainability front, according to a new report on the progress of its “Sharing Beauty With All” sustainability program.

“Climate change is a reality, and it impacts the most vulnerable within our value chain, for example farmers and producers of certain natural ingredients, such as shea butter from Burkina Faso or argan oil from southern Morocco,” said Alexandra Palt, chief sustainability officer at L’Oréal.

“Action is urgently needed,” she continued. “At the halfway mark of our 2020 ambitions, we are going to redouble our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint and reach our targets, particularly in terms of sustainable production and innovation.”

In the report, L’Oréal outlined its progress in 2016, including details about the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from its plants and distribution centers. Emissions declined 67 percent in absolute terms against a 2005 baseline, exceeding the company’s target of a 60 percent reduction, four years ahead of schedule. The decrease came despite the company increasing its production by 29 percent.

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That compares to a 56 percent carbon emission cut in 2015, when manufacturing was up 26 percent.

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By the end of last year, L’Oréal had 15 industrial sites that had realized carbon neutrality.

The company’s sustainability results were recognized by the CDP, an independent non-profit organization that evaluates the performance and transparency of companies’ climate change efforts. It singled out L’Oréal as one of two companies worldwide to achieve an “A” grade, recognizing its performance in climate protection, sustainable water management and the battle against deforestation.

Eighty-two percent of the L’Oréal products launched in 2016 had an improved environmental or social profile, versus 74 percent in 2016.

A number of the company’s brands launched formulations with levels of biodegradability exceeding 98 percent, such as Biolage R.A.W. shampoos and conditioners, and Garnier Ultra Doux 5 Plants shampoo.

“By 2020, L’Oréal is committed to improving the environmental or social profile of 100 percent of its new or renovated products,” the company said.

The “Sharing Beauty With All” initiative was announced in October 2013 by Jean-Paul Agon, L’Oréal chairman and chief executive officer. It is constructed on four sustainability pillars — innovation, production, living and development ­— and is integrated into the group’s entire value chain.