L'Oréal launches €150m social and environmental fund to support coronavirus response
Global cosmetic firm L'Oréal has noted the need to focus on regenerating the environment while also supporting those impacted by the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, and has responded by launching a €50m social fund to support vulnerable women and a €100m environment fund.
The L’Oréal for the Future programme is a responsive, social and environmental “solidarity programme” aiming to contribute to the regeneration of damaged ecosystems and preventing climate change, while also supporting vulnerable women during the social and economic crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund is split between social and environmental platforms. L’Oréal has committed €50m to supporting women that are being disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 crisis, notably in regards to job and income loss and the risk of domestic and sexual violence. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) warns that domestic violence will increase by 20% as a result of the lockdown.
A €100m fund for the regeneration of the natural environment has also been set up. A €50m Fund for Nature Regeneration will be used to finance marine and forest ecosystem restoration projects that also create new social and economic development opportunities for the populations that depend on these ecosystems.
L’Oréal is aiming to restore one million hectares of degraded ecosystems, capture 15 to 20 million tonnes of CO2 and create hundreds of job opportunities by 2030.
The remaining €50m will be used to promote the circular economy, with L’Oréal aiming to develop solutions and new business models that boost recycling and management of plastic waste.
The company is already part of a coalition of companies supporting a new plastics recycling technology which uses enzymes to process waste. It is also part of the Paper Bottle Community which is aiming to introduce a paper-based solution to plastic packaging.
L’Oréal Group’s chairman Jean-Paul Agon said “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. 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. These two causes reflect the values and the historic commitment of L’Oréal.”
The funds and actions will build into a new global sustainability strategy for 2030 that will be launched by L’Oréal next month.
L’Oréal is one of a handful of companies to be awarded an “A” score by CDP on three key topics: climate protection, sustainable water management and the fight against deforestation. Since 2005, the company has reduced water consumption per litre per of finished product by 48%, despite the business growing by almost a third in that time.