French cosmetics giant says it is ‘essential not to not step back from the sustainable transformation that the world needs’ as it delivers plans to invest in ecosystem repair and circular economy projects
L’Oréal Group has pledged to invest €100m over the next decade in projects that heal damaged natural ecosystems and advance the circular economy, as part of an “unprecedented social and environmental solidarity programme” prompted by the pandemic.
The French cosmetics giant unveiled its new environmental commitments today, alongside a plan to provide €50m to charities that support vulnerable women, who it said had been disproportionately affected by the global health and economic crisis.
“Over the coming months, our societies will face social crises giving rise to situations of great human suffering, particularly for the most vulnerable. At the same time, we are fully aware that environmental challenges are increasingly pressing,” Chairman Jean-Paul Agon said. “It is essential not to step back from the sustainable transformation that the world needs. We therefore wish to reaffirm our commitment to the environment and to the preservation of biodiversity, and to help mitigate the social crisis for women.”
Around €50m of the promised invesment will be allocated to a new ‘L’Oréal Fund for Nature Regeneration’ that will back marine and forest ecosystem restoration projects that create new social and economic development opportunities for local communities. The fund is aiming to restore one million hectares of degraded ecosystems, capture 15 to 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, and generate hundreds of job opportunities by the end of the decade, the company said.
A further €50m will be channelled into projects that help deliver circular economy solutions and business models, in particular those that boost recycling rates and improve the management of plastic waste.
“This social crisis has not eclipsed the need for a strong commitment to the environment,” said Alexandra Palt, L’Oréal’s chief corporate responsibility officer. “If we are to find a sustainable and inclusive way to move past this crisis, we must also focus on preventing climate change and the erosion of biodiversity, which now threaten to even more profoundly and violently shake our lives, our societies, and our economies, once again with women as the first victims.”
The French firm is one of a number of multinationals applying pressure on European lawmakers to deliver a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis. In mid-April, it joined PepsiCo, Microsoft, Volvo Group, and others in calling on the EU to tackle the economic fallout with a sweeping green investment programme.
The company said further details about its new sustainability commitments will be revealed in late June when it launches a new sustainability vision.Source: Businessgreen