L'Oreal puts on a good face

09:10, August 30, 2010      

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The L'Oreal Group, the largest cosmetics corporation in the world, doesn't just bring beauty to its Chinese customers; it puts a good face on society at large.

The French company has officially issued its first country-specific report on sustainable development - called the 2009 L'Oreal China Sustainability Report.

"From when we were a small company with a single hair-dye product until we grew into the largest cosmetics group in the world, we have ensured sustainable values have played a dominant role in our success. We have extended the spirit of pursuing excellence and sustainable development in the dynamic and fast-growing cosmetics market in China," said Jean-Paul Agon, chief executive officer of L'Oreal Group.

"By publishing the first specialized and localized sustainability report in China, we will show our confidence and commitment to the China market. We believe that with the sustainability vision and driving forward sustained innovation L'Oreal will better meet diversified beauty needs in whichever market we enter."

China represents one of the most dynamic and untapped cosmetics markets for L'Oreal. Over the last six to seven years, the Chinese cosmetics and toiletries market has undergone rapid transformation and expansion, making it the second-largest in the Asia-Pacific region after Japan and seventh-largest in the world.

"In such a dynamic market, L'Oreal China has made significant process since it entered in 1996. We now offer 19 brands here. In 13 of the past 14 years, we have seen consecutive double-digit sales for nine years of growth, making us the largest 'beauty kingdom' in China," said Francis Quinn, director of L'Oreal Sustainable Development. "The greater our development in China, the stronger is our commitment. It's important to emphasize our commitment to developing here in a sustainable and responsible manner. That's why we have decided to make China the first country in which we publish a specialized and localized country report on our sustainable development efforts."

The report delivers a full picture of L'Oreal's sustainable achievements and commitments made in 2009 from the aspects of performance development, scientific research and innovation, corporate social responsibility and information transparency.

L'Oreal's dependence on the environment and consumption of resources has been significantly reduced despite a very rapid growth in sales for the company in China over the past nine consecutive years.

Statistics from L'Oreal China showed that in 2009, for each finished product water consumption has decreased by 36 percent, and energy consumption was reduced by 5.26 percent, compared with the figures for 2005.

Its waste recycling and utilization rate has reached 99 percent. Furthermore, L'Oreal China employees have spent a total of around 14,475 hours participating in environmental, health and safety training.

In the process of ensuring its own development, L'Oreal has not forgotten its employees and social responsibilities. The company's Chinese employees have received an average of 41 hours of training per person. The company also shared 16.9 million yuan of profits with them.

L'Oreal's external public welfare donations in China amounted to 7.69 million yuan, up by more than 14 percent compared with 2008.

Paolo Gasparrini, president of L'Oreal China, said: "A high degree of corporate social responsibility has contributed to an outstanding performance by L'Oreal China. From original innovation to green products, security procedures to environment protection, we will continue to integrate sustainable development concepts throughout our business development model."

By 2015, on the basis of what the company had achieved in 2005, L'Oreal China will reach its goal of reducing total greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent, reducing 50 percent of the water consumption of the unit finished products and a reduction of 50 percent of waste generated from the unit finished product.

"That means that our environmental performance will be further enhanced," said Gasparrini.

L'Oreal China says it has always regarded sustainability as a core value. By dedicating itself to sustainable innovation, minimizing its impact on the environment, establishing transparent communication with consumers and persistently investing in its corporate social responsibility, L'Oreal China says it has achieved rapid growth and increased significance.

"Innovation is the bedrock of L'Oreal's success in China. In research and development (R&D), we are at the cutting edge of scientific research, constantly innovating to create the most value for our consumers. Through our evaluation processes, we strive continuously to understand how consumers use our products, directly informing product design for the China market," said Quinn.

"In manufacturing and distribution, we make every effort to take advantage of the newest technologies and processes that improve operational efficiency, reducing cost, reducing our impact on natural resources and minimizing waste."

L'Oreal has made great progress and achievements in R&D and innovation. More than 300 products have been specifically developed for the China market since 2006. The team of scientists at its research laboratories has grown from 7 in 2004 to 120 in 2009.

To coincide with the report, the French company also inaugurated the L'Oreal Research and Innovation Center in Pudong, Shanghai, which has been awarded the internationally-recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design golden certification.

Source:China Daily

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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