Premium Beauty News - Why did you create SPOT, a unique assessment tool in the cosmetics industry?
Alexandra Palt - We wanted to reach our 2020 goal – improving the environmental or social profile of all our products. To this aim, we assessed the change levers, but we needed an operational tool which all our brands could use on a daily basis. SPOT was designed with international experts and submitted to several stakeholders.
Every product we develop is now scrutinized by this assessment tool. If it is a renewal, the environmental and social performance of the new product is compared with that of the previous product. If it is an innovation, the reference will be the average of the category of the product under development.
We estimate that in seven years, 90% to 100% of all L’Oréal products will be evaluated by SPOT. In any case, we need to increase all the marks obtained.
Premium Beauty News - What are your improvement areas?
Alexandra Palt - We study the water footprint of the formula, its biodegradability, the content of plant-derived and sustainably sourced ingredients, but also the size, weight, shape, and materials of the packaging.
Premium Beauty News - Are the first results of the “Sharing Beauty With All” programme encouraging?
Alexandra Palt - We should achieve most of our objectives by the deadlines set across the whole programme. Some of them have already been exceeded by far. For example, we have reduced our carbon emissions by 73% compared to 2005, while the objective set was 60%, and the production volume rose by 33% over the same period. That is already exceptional.
What should be highlighted is that we have completely transformed our business approach. Sustainable development is taken into account in every single strategic decision made and every time we start developing a product. It is fully integrated to how we do our job. I think that is what makes us one of the companies with the most widely recognized sustainable development performance in the world. [NB: L’Oréal is one of only two companies in the world – the only French company – out of the over 3,000 evaluated to have been awarded three “As” in 2017, i.e. the best score, for the rankings established by CDP, an organization aimed to study the impact of companies on climate change].
Premium Beauty News - Are consumers following the same trend as regards environmental convictions?
Alexandra Palt - Consumers quickly change. Changes can already be observed, but most studies demonstrate that although people have more and more convictions and expectations in terms of sustainable development, everyone does not express them in their buying behaviours.