The beauty of respecting planetary boundaries




Our future depends on respecting planetary boundaries. An issue that has become clear during the meeting «Talks For the Future», organized by L´Oréal and that it has had experts on this issue such as Sarah Cornell, PhD in Sustainability Sciences at the Stockholm Resilience Center of Stockholm University or Gonzálo Muñoz, co-founder of Sistema B and TriCiclos and Champion of Cop25. An ideal scenario in which L’Oréal España has presented novel initiatives for a radical transformation towards a business model to respect planetary limits.

«To reconcile our needs with the preservation of a planet with limited resources, we are undergoing a radical transformation of our business model, placing sustainability at the center. It is no longer enough that companies reduce our environmental impact with ‘self-established’ objectives, so our commitment is to ensure that our activities respect the ‘planetary limits’ throughout the entire life cycle of our products “, he said Juan Alonso de Lomas, president and CEO of L’Oréal Spain.

For this, this firm has defined, together with scientific experts, different quantifiable objectives for limit the impact of its activity in the clime, water, biodiversity and natural resources. Specifically, L’Oréal Spain, neutral in carbon emissions since 2017 –according to scope 1 and 2-, will now address the emission reduction in the rest of its value chain: transportation, supply of raw materials, consumption phase, committing to reduce by 50% all its greenhouse gas emissions per unit of finished product. Refering to sustainable water management, the company’s ambition now is to further reduce its consumption in the buildings in which it operates in Spain – its headquarters in Madrid, two factories and two distribution centers – by 2025.

In your efforts to conserve natural resources, L’Oréal has committed that, by 2030, the 100% of the plastics used in its packaging come from recycled or bio-based sources -50% in 2025-, that is, it will eliminate the use of virgin plastic. In addition, to respect biodiversity, 100% of biobased ingredients for formulas and packaging materials will be traceable and sourced from sustainable sources, currently they are 68%.

Burgos, world benchmark in sustainability

And of all its factories, the one located in Burgos is a benchmark in sustainability by becoming the first carbon neutral plant of 2015, thanks to a biomass plant that allows all the energy it consumes to be 100% renewable. In addition, it is the L’Oréal’s first ‘dry factory’ in the world since 2017, that is, it uses a closed circuit or waterloop system, which recovers and recycles the water from its production phase, which has allowed it to save 10,707 m3 liters of water since then, the equivalent of 3 Olympic swimming pools. Its work to reduce CO2 emissions in its suppliers has led the plant to develop the project ‘Green Line for Europe’, a sustainable corridor of trains and ships to avoid transport in conventional planes and trucks -the latter only used in the transport of the last mile- which has allowed them to reduce carbon emissions in their transport by 20%.

To protect the biodiversity of the area, the factory has launched several initiatives such as the creation of a Biodiversity tree plant in its facilities, which has a humid area with a water reservoir to rebuild aquatic life with insects, the planting of 800 trees, the creation of an ecological garden that is cared for by its employees and their families and the development of a 600-meter walk with picnic areas. And in matters of circular economy has manufactured pallets from recycled plastic from packaging and the materials used in the plant itself.

Innovative labeling system

The consumer has a fundamental role in the sustainable transformation of the company. In this sense, the brand Garnier, pioneer in sustainable cosmetics for mass consumption with its ‘Green Beauty’ program, will be the first to include a new Product Impact Labeling system which will be available in Spain on the brand’s products that require rinsing from the summer of 2021. This labeling informs consumers about the environmental and social impact of their products through a scale from ‘A’ to ‘E’, The ‘A’ products are considered “the best in their category” in terms of environmental impact. Ratings will be available on the product web pages.

For its part, Biotherm, through its commitment to sustainability ‘Water Lovers’ whose objective is to promote conservation of the oceans and sea beds, has launched a three-year project to clean rivers that has already started in the Jarama and that will develop in collaboration with Seo / BirdLife and Ecoalf.

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