Finding a job that combines impact with innovation isn’t easy, but that’s what Danielle managed to do when she became the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at L’Oréal USA.
Danielle has spent her career helping companies make sustainability a priority. She’s worked for fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment companies in the past, but she’s never had a better opportunity to make a difference than at L’Oréal. That’s probably because the company is the world leader in beauty and personal care, and between their 30+ brands, they’re also at the forefront of innovative sustainability practices.
We spoke to Danielle to get an inside look at some of the most exciting sustainability innovations under way at L’Oréal. Here’s what she told us.
1. Carbon-Neutral Manufacturing Powered By Renewable Energy
For any company, manufacturing physical products is an energy-intensive process, which can take a serious toll on the environment. In fact, the industrial production sector is responsible for 22 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. That’s why L’Oréal found a different way to power their US factories: renewable energy.
As a part of their effort to achieve carbon-neutral status at their 21 US manufacturing sites in 2019, L’Oréal pre-purchased 15 years worth of renewable natural gas. They also take advantage of a variety of other renewable energy sources like wind power, landfill gas, and solar energy.
Thanks to these efforts, Danielle says, “L’Oréal manufacturing will be running on 100% renewable energy.”
2. Sustainable Packaging Innovations, Like This One
SEED Phytonutrients is one of L’Oréal’s most innovative new brands. Not only does the brand’s line of personal care products utilize a unique cold pressed sunflower and camelina seed oil formula—both of which are sourced from local, organic farms—they’re also packaged in 100 percent recyclable materials.
Using materials like chalk, clay, and post-consumer paper, the team at SEED Phytonutrients created a bottle that is not only natural and recyclable, but beautiful. You can even keep the eco-friendly bottles in the shower; they’re that durable.
But for L’Oréal, SEED was just another step in a long line of environmental accomplishments.
3. They’re Going “Cradle To Cradle” With SPOT
Cradle to Cradle is an organization that certifies sustainably, ethically, and responsibly manufactured products. They ensure that products are made with clean materials, minimal carbon footprint, and can be recycled back into the economy. Essentially, they’re recognizing companies creating the production processes of the future.
And for L’Oréal, Danielle tells us, Cradle to Cradle’s superb standards are an important benchmark—which is why they created SPOT (the Sustainable Product Optimization Tool)—a sustainability analysis tool developed in partnership with Quantis and EY.
“The C2C certification mirrors our philosophy on developing products from concept to be sustainable,” Danielle says. “SPOT helps us evaluate our products in categories like formula, packaging, environment, and social impact.”
“Last year we launched five skincare products for Garnier Skin Active with the Cradle to Cradle certification,” Danielle tells us. “It was the largest certification of a mass skincare brand at that time. And we have a goal that 100% of our new and renovated products will have an environmental or social improvement by the end of next year.”
Making The Personal Powerful
“I joined L’Oreal because of the enormous opportunities to connect the dots for people who use these products all the time,” Danielle says. “Everyday people can move toward better environmental and social practices and make that come to life with the products that they know and love.”
Being able to transform L’Oréal’s iconic line of products was particularly powerful for Danielle, who’s been a life-long customer of the company.
“Maybelline Great Lash Mascara is something I’ve used since I was 14 years old, and I didn’t realize until I got here that that mascara was made in a facility that’s powered on solar energy,” Danielle says.
“It’s amazing that within our portfolio we have some of the most iconic products in the beauty and personal care space,” Danielle says. “And that they can also be symbols to represent positive impacts on the environment and mitigating climate change, to me, is really powerful.”
It turns out you can have a career that combines impact with innovation—and you can do it at L’Oréal.