Monday, May 20, 2024

L’Oréal Spearheads Environmental Change With New Retail Effort: ‘We Must Embrace This Change’


Legacy luxury beauty powerhouse L’Oréal says it will be the first beauty label to measure the environmental footprint of its retail elements in a new partnership with EcoDesignCloud.

French beauty giant L’Oréal says it has integrated EcoDesignCloud by Eviden into its operations. The pioneering digital tool is designed to measure and reduce the environmental footprint of its promotional and point-of-sale materials. This initiative aligns with L’Oréal’s ongoing commitment to its sustainability program, “L’Oréal for the Future.”

EcoDesignCloud leverages the globally recognized Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology to evaluate the environmental impact of materials across their lifecycle. This evaluation includes a comprehensive analysis of 16 different criteria, such as CO2 emissions. L’Oréal’s Luxe division is the first among its segments to adopt this tool, equipping its 24 brands with this innovative technology aimed at minimizing their ecological footprint.

The digital tool not only assesses but also offers simulations to improve the environmental performance of retail elements. It enables L’Oréal and its suppliers to pinpoint retail and promotional items that have the least environmental impact. Initial usage of the tool has already facilitated the development of eco-friendlier luxury displays and promotional gifts.

L'Oreal Elive products.
Courtesy L’Oréal

Cyril Chapuy, President of L’Oréal Luxe, emphasized the company’s role in sustainable luxury retail. “As the leader in luxury beauty, re-inventing the most memorable retail experiences with the lowest environmental impact is our responsibility, and we must embrace this change collectively with our suppliers and retailers worldwide,” Chapuy said in a statement. “We envision this innovation will be widely adopted by the ecosystem as the new norm for the future of luxury retail.”

Antoine Vanlaeys, Chief Operations Officer at L’Oréal Groupe, highlighted the strategic advantages of the EcoDesignCloud. “Assessing the environmental performance of our suppliers will enable us to support our partners as well as lead the retail industry towards a more sustainable economy,” Vanlaeys said. “This level of transparency and cooperation can also open up new avenues for innovation by exploring how different configurations, designs, materials, and processes can completely re-invent sustainable beauty experiences in-store. With our sourcing team, we are proud to onboard our ecosystem of suppliers and accelerate our transformation journey with a new, sustainable retail experience.”

Sephora's Champs-Élysées store.
Courtesy Sephora

Mathieu Parfait, CSR Director at Diam, a key supplier of shopfitting and merchandising solutions for the beauty and luxury retail sectors, also praised the tool’s capabilities. “The EcoDesignCloud tool is a step towards more efficient and accurate environmental impact data-sharing between clients and suppliers in the point-of-sale and retail sector, with an underlying robust lifecycle assessment (LCA) methodology,” he said.

In March, beauty retail giant Sephora announced the expansion of its “Clean at Sephora” and “Planet Aware at Sephora” programs aimed at highlighting its environmental and formula-based commitments. Demand for clean and responsible beauty continues to be a consumer priority.

A NielsenIQ survey conducted last year revealed that 61 percent of U.S. consumers relate sustainability to planetary benefits, 57 percent to conserving resources, and 54 percent to pollution reduction. Yet, only 33 percent associate it with improved worker conditions and 26 percent with societal benefits. As awareness grows, 62 percent say sustainability has become more crucial, influenced by media coverage and visible environmental impacts. The shift from ‘clean beauty 1.0’, focusing on ingredient safety, to ‘clean beauty 2.0’, which includes environmental and social considerations, is evident. This trend is underscored by significant growth in eco-friendly beauty products and a 64 percent surge in interest for refillable options, indicating a strong consumer shift towards comprehensive sustainability in beauty products.

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