Cosmetics Group L'Oréal Focuses on Refillable Packaging
The world's largest cosmetics manufacturer, L'Oréal, wants to significantly reduce the amount of plastic used in its products and packaging. To motivate consumers to refill, the cosmetics giant is working with retailers on a concept, explains the company's European sustainability chief.
L'Oréal wants and needs to reduce its carbon footprint in order to achieve its own sustainability targets and those required by the EU. In the coming year, the brand image will therefore change significantly: "We are pushing the sale of refill products, supported by high investments," says Joël Tronchon, Chief Sustainability Officer Europe at L'Oréal. In 2024, the company plans to implement a far-reaching campaign with Garnier, its key mass-market brand, he announces.
Refill Pouches to Become More Visible at POS
With the well-known brand, L'Oréal wants to convince more consumers to repurchase products such as shampoos, shower gels or body lotions in stand-up pouches. This is cheaper for customers and helps to save a lot of plastic. The trend for manufacturers to rely more on refilling in order to save packaging is not new.
Filling Systems for Perfume
What's important for the success of refill pouches is to increase their visibility on the shelf, Tronchon says. L'Oréal is currently negotiating with drugstore retailers on what the finished concept should look like. Among other things, the company is working together to educate customers about reusability and responsible consumption, and would also like to reduce product returns in e-commerce.
In perfume, L'Oréal wants to go one step further. With more and more brands, the company is taking its cue from the Mugler brand and setting up filling stations in perfumeries where customers can refill the flacons they bring with them. Tronchon cites the Prada Paradoxe range as a current example of this, according to LZ. Unlike body and facial care products, he says, perfume ensures that the systems do not become contaminated due to the high alcohol content.
Water in Circulation
As L'Oréal's chief sustainability officer in Europe, it is his job to show that sustainability also pays off economically, says Tronchon.
He cites the so-called Waterloop concept as an example. With sophisticated recycling plants, L'Oréal's goal is to reuse all the water in the production cycle over and over again. "Water will become more expensive in the future," says Tronchon. That's why, he says, it's absolutely important to continue to expand the technology and implement it in all of its plants. To that end, Tronchon says the company is investing about 5 million euros each to use the concept, developed in Spain in 2017, at all sites worldwide by 2030 at the latest. However, it is not yet possible to put a figure on how high the savings would be.
L'Oréal is one of the leading international consumer goods groups in terms of sustainability, and the ESG rating is important for the listed company. According to a study commissioned by the French industry magazine LSA, L'Oréal's emissions fell by 0.7 percent in 2022, significantly less than those of competitors such as Beiersdorf or Henkel, reports LZ.