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“Sustainable development is a long-term strategic challenge”, Cécile Tuil, Albéa

At the World Environment Day last June 5, Albéa provided an update on a series of initiatives taken over the past few years. Whether the staff awareness sessions deal with the reduction of production waste, plantation of trees, renovation of schools, or reduction of greenhouse gases, every year, 4,000 employees of the group directly contribute to concrete actions meant to protect the environment or communities. Here is an overview of the social and environmental commitment of the group with Cécile Tuil, VP Communication.

Cécile Tuil, VP Communication, Albéa

Cécile Tuil, VP Communication, Albéa

Premium Beauty News - When did the Albéa Group start formalizing its social and environmental commitment?

Cécile Tuil - Our first sustainable development programme dates back to a bit more than 10 years, when major cosmetics brands started structuring around this issue. Albéa evolved with its customers. We define the framework, objectives, and priorities approximately every five years to try and make progress.

Premium Beauty News - What are the main lines and objectives of this programme?

Cécile Tuil - Our new road map comprises four pillars for the 2015-2020 period: our operations, our products, our employees and the communities, our suppliers and partners. We define ambitions and objectives for each pillar.

As for the “employee and communities” pillar, our priorities are safety and well-being, commitment and integration, involvement within the communities. For the “product” pillar, it is eco-design, safety and regulatory compliance, and secondary packaging. For the “operations” pillar, it is ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification for all our sites, reduction of our energy and water consumption, and reduction of our CO2 emissions and volatile organic compounds. Lastly, our priorities for the “suppliers and partners” pillar focus on compliance with social and environmental legislation, green innovation, and solidarity sourcing.

As we developed our commitment, we structured it in the form of concrete ambitions with well-identified priorities, and the will for all this to give us increasingly concrete results. However, this programme is not hierarchical in its implementation: we try to make all our employees get involved according to their specific needs on the local level. Each site defines their own priority actions as part of the road map. This is our version of the “think global, act local” vision.

Premium Beauty News - What do your customers expect in this field?

Cécile Tuil - Our commitment is not directly related to our customers’ expectations, as their priorities and programmes are extremely different. Albéa’s leaders, starting with François Luscan, our CEO, believe sustainable development is a long-term strategic challenge. A company that endeavours to reduce its environmental footprint and improve its social impact on a daily basis simply tries to support the challenges humanity is facing on its own level and, de facto, works on strengthening its competitiveness.

As for our customers in the cosmetics industry, some have developed grids for measuring the performance of their suppliers. But each customer has its own criteria and priorities. For example, L’Oréal has strong expectations in terms of Solidarity Sourcing. Some customers are mainly interested in the eco-design of products and require eco-designed or lighter packaging. Others have started buying PCR tubes [1]. We have also found there are more and more social audits conducted on our sites. By contrast, right now, only a small number of our customers take into account their suppliers’ carbon footprint, but we are getting ready for this, as some of its associated objectives will be included in our 2015-2020 road map.

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