Premium Beauty News - The Expanscience group was one of the very first cosmetics companies to become B-Corp-certified. Why choose this label?
Armelle Le Peniec - In 2018, it was only logical, given the committed strategy we had implemented as early as 2004, after the United Nations Global Compact was signed. Expanscience has always believed that Corporate Responsibility went beyond products. The group was very quick to put CSR at the core of its strategy. Year after year, we organized our development by combining economic performance with social, societal, and environmental performance.
While over 70% of our sales are achieved outside France, with a presence in about a hundred countries, thanks to 14 subsidiaries and a strong distributor network, the B-Corp certification helped us become part of a global community of committed companies.
Given the nature of the commitments required, B-Corp also enhanced the company’s involvement on all levels: purchases and Human Resources, of course, but also marketing, R&D, and finance.
Premium Beauty News - Early this year, 26 companies, including Expanscience, created the B Corp Beauty Coalition, an association aimed to improve sustainability standards in the beauty industry. What are your objectives?
Armelle Le Peniec - This global alliance is meant to implement deep changes to improve the social and environmental footprint of the cosmetics industry, in particular as regards supplies, logistics, and packaging. Working groups focus on these different issues, and an executive board of 12 members from 12 companies in eight countries manages the whole structure.
Jean-Paul Berthomé, President of Laboratoires Expanscience, has the honour of having been elected as a board member of the B Corp Beauty Coalition.
Premium Beauty News - A B Corp company should generate a positive impact on society and the environment.
Armelle Le Peniec - When you have a positive impact, not only you reduce your footprint, but you also contribute to regenerating ecosystems and providing men, women, and the planet with an added value. That is what we defined as part of our brand new CSR strategy called impACT, which was co-set up within the group by 40 volunteer employees. It sets out ambitious objectives for the next 10 and 20 years, so that Expanscience becomes a regenerative company with a positive impact. Several working groups were created to achieve these commitments presented in the form of operational objectives, and there is a monthly follow-up.
To develop our dermocosmetic products, we have undertaken, among others, to “focus on the circular economy and remove or rethink our packaging to promote a zero waste strategy”. As regards the Cosmetic Actives Division, we intend to “preserve and protect biodiversity, and to support regenerative agriculture”.
Our latest Calybiota® Bio active is a perfect example of what can be done. It is extracted from red Kapok tree, an oxalogenic tree which forms calcium carbonate in the soil. It is one the most sustainable forms of carbon sink.
Premium Beauty News - What are your targets regarding global warming?
Armelle Le Peniec - We have taken strong commitments: our ingredients division and our brand Mustela have undertaken to contribute to fulfilling the global climate objectives by 2030, i.e. 20 years before the date set out in the Paris Agreement.
We are also very active at our R&D and production site in Epernon, in France. For example, 100% of our waste will be optimized and reused according to the circular economy principles by 2025, and we aim to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions on this site by 40% by 2030. In addition, since 2018, we have purchased 100% of renewable electricity.
Premium Beauty News - In 2021, Expanscience became a “company with a mission”. In what way will this new status change the company?
Armelle Le Peniec - As part of this mission, Laboratoires Expanscience publicly committed to contributing to the common good through its raison d’être: “help individuals shape their well-being”.
It helps us define a direction with four objectives regarding governance, Human Resources, biodiversity, climate and natural health, which complete or strengthen our existing commitments:
Define products and services that are useful for wellness, eco-socially-designed, and ever-more inspired from nature and living beings;
Empower employees so they take responsibility for their own fulfilment and build with them a company that is more inclusive and supportive;
Contribute to achieving global climate objectives and to protecting and regenerating biodiversity;
Mobilize our communities and ecosystem to build together a business model with a positive impact on society, individuals, and their environment.
These objectives are included in our statutes and followed up by a mission committee composed of seven members: two belong to the group, the other five are external experts. This committee will make sure we give ourselves the means to contribute to our raison d’être and that we make progress towards achieving our objectives.
Premium Beauty News - Have these successive commitments changed the group?
Armelle Le Peniec - We have significantly changed our working method over a period of almost 20 years: our employees got increasingly involved, and our pride to work for the group just soared. Today, we also perceive the positive impact of this transformation on the market.