Francis Quinn,
Sustainable Development Director
Business
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For L’Oréal, the strategic challenge in a rapidly changing world is to create sustainable growth.

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Sustainability strategy

By the very nature of its products, L’Oréal understands the precious value of natural resources. We aim to strike a balance between natural capital and manmade capital, which is key to our sustainable growth. Our commitment to sustainability goes further than respecting the environment and biodiversity; we must meet our economic goals and social responsibilities too.

Growing responsibly

After a century in existence, L’Oréal has grown from a single brand to become the world's leading beauty company. This growth is built on lasting values of integrity, responsibility and respect, bringing us recognition from markets and stakeholders as one of the world's most sustainable businesses.

A rigorous scientific approach has driven our progress and continues to guide the way ahead. The cosmetics industry has always had the capacity to strike a balance between natural capital and manmade (chemical) capital in the selection and formulation of ingredients. That expertise puts our industry in pole position for sustainable growth.

Growing sustainably

The world is changing rapidly and the challenge is no longer to arbitrate between the three constituents of sustainable development – economy, environment and society, but rather to deliver sustainable growth. At L’Oréal, our strategy for sustainable growth is based on two main objectives.

The first involves the strategic management of our raw materials – to provide a sustainable supply secured with respect towards the environment and the communities where they are sourced.

The second goal is to continue to optimise key intangible value drivers that affect reputation, market share and long-term success. These include L’Oréal's diversity of talent and leadership, relationships of trust with stakeholders, and intellectual property.

The strategic challenge

Our approach

Sustainable development is often described as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". When the definition was coined in 1987, sustainable development was generally seen to involve a compromise between three constituents – economy, environment and society – in order to achieve a "sustainable arrangement" at best.

Today though, in this rapidly changing world in search of a new paradigm, the strategic challenge is no longer to make compromises on how to manage these three constituents but rather to deliver sustainable growth. To meet the challenge, L’Oréal considers sustainable development as a driver of innovation and growth, not a business limitation. Our strategy is based on:

  • the integration of sustainable development principles into business, innovation, products and processes,
  • equitable and sustainable business that respects the environment and that delivers economic performance while at the same time meeting our societal responsibility,
  • a commitment to optimising intangible value drivers, particularly human and intellectual capital, and stakeholder relations.

Seizing opportunities in a changing world

As we progress our ambition to double our consumer base in the next 10 years, a sustainable approach becomes even more essential. Tomorrow, Chinese, Indians, Brazilians and Indonesians will together form the majority of our customers, profoundly changing the profile of our consumer base.

Our capacity to grow responsibly and sustainably depends on meeting societal challenges as well as raising the bar on environmental performance. We will do this by continuing to anticipate evolving markets and also by understanding and responding to the rapidly changing societies our markets are rooted in.

At L’Oréal, sustainable development is a driver for responsible growth and a source of inspiration for our brands.

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