L’Oréal is the world’s number-one cosmetics group, boasting a presence in 150 countries and a portfolio of 34 complementary brands, ranging from luxury products to consumer collections. The Group launches about 8,500 new products annually and sells over seven billion skin and hair care, fragrance and makeup products.
L’Oréal’s ambition: beauty for all
Ever since it was founded by chemist Eugène Schueller back in 1909, L’Oréal has set itself the goal of offering the very best in beauty to men and women all over the world. With over 3,870 researchers and a budget equal to 3.4% of revenues in 2017, L’Oréal has the biggest Research & Innovation programme in the cosmetics industry.
To develop the Group’s new cosmetic products and address the specific needs of each country, L’Oréal relies on its global research platform, which is based in France, 20 research centres divided among six regional hubs (USA, China, Japan, Brazil, India and South Africa), and 16 assessment centres located around the world.
L’Oréal has “gone digital” by growing its e-commerce sales, building online relationships with consumers and positioning its brands as “love brands” with an active presence on social media. In 2017, the Group’s online sales totalled €2.1 billion and accounted for close to a quarter of revenues in countries in the digital vanguard, such as China. The Group is also investing in incubators and forging partnerships (Station F, Founders Factory) to support start-ups at the forefront of the sector. Meanwhile, L’Oréal’s Digital Upskilling Program has trained over 15,000 employees in the skills they need in the new digital environment.
Marrying business performance and CSR
Year in, year out, L’Oréal wants to demonstrate how business can be virtuously married with social and economic performance. Through its CSR programme, Sharing Beauty With All, L’Oréal has set targets to meet by 2020. And already, the Group has improved the social or environmental profile of 76% of new products, cut CO2 emissions at its factories by 73% compared with 2005, reduced water consumption by 48% compared with 2005, and provided 96% of employees with health coverage in line with best practices in their country of residence.
L’Oréal has been awarded a triple A rating from CDP for its environmental performance. It also holds the top spot in the Equileap gender equality rankings, and in 2017 was named one of world’s most ethical companies for the eighth time.