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L’Oréal Canada drives environmental improvements through its manufacturing plant

Montreal, QC — Late last month, L’Oréal Canada announced that it continues to reduce its ecological footprint with a positive environmental balance sheet. This year, it has exceeded its goals for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, and has further improved its water use and waste management.

“Every year, L’Oréal Canada pursues its efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its operations," says L’Oréal Canada president and CEO Javier San Juan. "From the L’Oréal factory and distribution centre in Ville Saint-Laurent to our head office in downtown Montreal, all of our employees are pitching in to make L’Oréal Canada a flag bearer for sustainable development."
 
GHG reductions exceed targets
For the 2006–2008 period, GHG emissions from vehicle use dropped 9.20 per cent. This performance is due in part to a decrease in overall kilometers driven by company employees, but especially to a reduction in corporate fleet fuel consumption. The decrease is also due to the acquisition of cleaner vehicles, a move that in itself kept 180 tons of CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere in 2008. Overall, total GHG emissions from vehicle and air travel were reduced by 11 per cent between 2006 and 2008, largely exceeding the three per cent target.
 
In 2008, CO2 emissions were reduced by 12 per cent at the factory, due mostly to the recovery of residual energy, despite steady growth in output. The 2009 target is a further two per cent, which will bring the total decrease in production facility emissions to 2,127 tons. A 2005 study to identify sources of energy loss provided the basis for these reductions and garnered L’Oréal Canada the Prix d’Excellence (excellence award) for SHE (Safety, Health and Environment).
 
A rigorous program to reduce water consumption at the source
A draconian water use reduction program implemented at the Ville Saint-Laurent plant has generated annual water savings of more than 39,000 cubic meters. Water use per finished product now stands at 0.55l, and gains in efficiency are being pursued in 2009 with a new target of an additional three per cent in water savings through the optimization of production tool wash cycles, reduced water use at the waste treatment plant, and the installation of flow limiter valves and timers on washroom faucets. Savings are in addition to the 40 per cent decrease in water use already achieved at the distribution center since 2005.

Waste management: small gestures add up
Lastly, the recovery rate for transportable waste stood at 92 per cent at our distribution center in 2008 (a 9% improvement since 2005), and at 89.3 per cent at our factory. The target for 2009 is an additional increase of five per cent. We have also seen a 23.06 per cent increase in recycling in our coffee and bistro section, and a 42 per cent recovery rate at head office.
 
L’Oréal Canada’s commitments are part of L’Oréal Group’s ten-year strategy (2005–2015), which sets three key objectives for company factories and distribution centers:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent in intensity (In 2005, L’Oréal CO2  emissions totaled 230.3 thousand tons)
  • Reduce water consumption per unit of finished product by 50 per cent (In 2005, L’Oréal used 0.72 liters of water per finished product)
  • Reduce waste generation per unit of finished product by 50 per cent (In 2005, L’Oréal generated 32.2 grams of waste per finished product)
 
For a number of years now, L’Oréal has been implementing environmental initiatives and incorporating principles of sustainability into its management practices as it develops and grows. In 2008 and 2009, the Group was named one of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies by Innovest and Corporate Knights in recognition of its overall efforts.