It has long been argued that managing the risks and opportunities of environmental, social and governance is a proxy for good management. I would now argue that with this business case it is not a proxy for good management – it is good management, it is essential management.
If beauty is merely in the eye of the beholder, nobody has told L’Oreal.
By David Connor, on David Coethica’s Blog, June 23, 2011.
They have 66,000 employees, sell 161 products every second in 130 countries and produce 5.4 billion products every year.
Yesterday saw L’Oreal step up its sustainability engagement with the first of four planned global stakeholder engagement forum events, with the first held in London.
My expectations were similar to those before the Microsoft Accelerator Summit I was invited to last year, i.e. not huge due to minimal information sent beforehand, me being a busy 3BL Media bee and L’Oreal never over energetically communicating their activity, all against a backdrop of a couple of slippery issues including animal testing and the acquisition of Body Shop part of their history.
Much more information on their sustainable development approach is available online here, but I’ll give you a brief perspective on the event and some of the key issues below.
The headlines include the company looking to double their business by 2015 whilst reducing CO2 by 50%, waste by 50% and water use by 50% (across the period 2005 – 2015).
L’Oreal are keen to use the term “sustainable consumption” (always brave) in their latest report and push an aspirational luxurious brand image; add the above mentioned scale, alongside historically challenging product testing practices and you could consider placing them near the top of the corporations to pick on list. Let’s put sustainability aside for one moment, it is easy to miss the link between the abundance of cosmetic products sold to consumers and the reality of our human ancestral use of natural dyes and colourings to define tribal groups and to communicate. In other words lipstick is a central part of civilisation and has been around in one form or another for thousands of years and is not going away any time soon.
Okay, back to the stakeholder forum…
Photo from Airdye.com
RIP RAY ANDERSON