L’Oréal USA—the largest subsidiary of the L’Oréal Groupe, has reached carbon neutrality for scopes 1 and 2 emissions for all 25 US sites, across 12 states, including its manufacturing and distribution facilities, administrative sites, and research and innovation sites.
Since 2005, L’Oréal USA has been advancing its renewable energy ambition through a multi-pronged approach aimed at improving energy efficiency and transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
This is in-line with the beauty company’s global sustainability commitment, L’Oréal for the Future, which states that all L’Oréal operated sites worldwide must reach carbon neutrality by 2025. The US subsidiary has achieved this goal four years ahead of schedule.
L’Oréal USA reached carbon neutrality for Scopes 1 and 2 emissions across its US footprint through a strategy that includes:
1) Energy Optimization
L’Oréal USA’s manufacturing facilities have implemented measures to reduce energy consumption, ranging from a switch to LED lighting to more specialized equipment such as high-efficiency air compressors and vacuum pumps.
In 2016, L’Oréal USA joined the US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program in an effort optimize energy reductions. Through this program, L’Oréal USA gained access to DOE’s performance measurement tools, energy analytics, and experts to identify new opportunities for energy savings, as well as provide insights and best practices with the DOE to the greater benefit of manufacturers nationwide.
L’Oréal USA also earned the distinction of 2017 Green Power Partner of the Year from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since 1996, L’Oréal has been an Energy Star Partner with the EPA and a member of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership.
2) Direct Renewable Energy Projects
Seventy percent of L’Oréal USA’s sites have on-site renewable energy projects. L’Oréal USA is continuously ranked among the top 25 companies for overall U.S. solar capacity by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). Since 2005, the company has installed more than 50,000 solar panels across the country totaling 57 miles.
- The largest commercial solar array in Kentucky – L’Oréal USA built the largest commercial solar array in Kentucky at its Florence Haircare manufacturing facility, which provides 1.4MW of power through 4,140 solar panels. This 686,000 square foot plant is the company’s largest manufacturing site in the US and its largest worldwide by tonnage produced.
- An early commitment to solar energy in Arkansas – L’Oréal USA was one of the first major corporations to commit to solar energy in Arkansas, where it built the third largest solar array in the state in 2017. The 3,600 solar panel installation now provides 1.2 MW of renewable energy for its 450,000 sq. ft. factory in North Little Rock, one of the company’s premiere cosmetics manufacturing plants globally.
- Renewable Energy in L’Oréal USA administrative offices – In 2012, L’Oréal USA installed solar panels at its Berkeley Heights office. What was already a LEED Gold certified building, the new solar project provided renewable energy for 60% of the office’s energy needs, as well as electric vehicle charging stations for employees.
3) Locally Sourced Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
To make up the difference between on-site solar capacity and usage, L’Oréal has strict parameters for the purchase of RECs. All certificates must be locally sourced to ensure the company is driving systemic change through renewable energy expansion in the local communities in which it operates. RECs must be attributable to a local or semi-local renewable energy project close to the site which uses it. Through this approach, L’Oréal aims to provide the demand for increased renewable energy supply in the countries in which it operates. These RECs have been generated by several wind, hydro, and solar power projects in the states of California, Florida, and New York.
4) Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)
L’Oréal uses onsite gas for space and water heating. To address the company’s gas usage, L’Oréal USA sites procure RNG from landfill gas projects in Texas and New York that capture and convert methane produced from the natural decomposition of organic materials. These projects turn an otherwise wasted resource into pipeline-quality RNG that displaces the use of fossil-based natural gas.
The company has set long-term goals to reduce its entire inventory of greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1, 2, and 3) by 25% by 2030, in absolute terms compared to 2016, and by 2050 aims to further reduce emissions and become a net zero company. These goals were set in accordance with the Science Based Targets, which aim to limit global warming to 1.5°C, according to climate scientist recommendations, as set by the Paris Agreement. L’Oréal’s goals are guided by the concept of Planetary Boundaries, which projects the limits humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come.
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